An inscribed amber and coconut-shell 'dragon' snuff bottle Attributable to Guangdong province, 1770–1860
Lot 85Y
An inscribed amber and coconut-shell 'dragon' snuff bottle Attributable to Guangdong province, 1770–1860
Sold for HK$ 68,750 (US$ 8,870) inc. premium
Lot Details
An inscribed amber and coconut-shell 'dragon' snuff bottle
Attributable to Guangdong province, 1770–1860
4.34cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 7, no. 1657

    椰殼嵌琥珀雕雲龍紋鼻煙壺
    傳廣東省,1770~1860

    An amber and coconut-shell 'dragon' snuff bottle

    Translucent orange-brown amber, coconut shell, and ivory; with a flat lip and protruding concave foot; made up of one convex segment of coconut shell glued to another acting as the main frame, with a convex panel of amber on one main side, the neck and foot in ivory; the amber panel carved with a dragon partially obscured by formalized clouds, the other main side inscribed with two characters in regular script, Qian (?) kan (Carved by Qian [?]), within an oval cartouche
    Attributable to Guangdong province, 1770–1860
    Height: 4.34 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.56/1.14 cm
    Stopper: mother-of-pearl; coral collar

    Condition: Three age cracks in ivory lip; some minor chipping to the amber panel (dragon's horns and one whisker, for instance). General relative condition: good

    Provenance:
    J.W.A. International Inc. (1992)

    Published:
    Kleiner 1995, no. 352
    Treasury 7, no. 1657

    Exhibited:
    British Museum, London, June–October 1995
    Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997

    Here, we have some convincing evidence that this particular bottle was a southern product. The style of carving of the dragon on the amber panel is typical of Guangdong style as found on a well-known series of inkstones carved in Guangdong province, where the stone itself was found. (They are of Duan stone from Duanzhou; see Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, nos. 84 and 85, for further information, and Treasury 3, nos. 393 and 394, for two examples with related dragons and clouds.) The design here, with the dragon shown partly obscured by formalized clouds and with paw-like feet rather than the eagle-like claws of its typical northern counterpart, is typical of Duan-stone wares carved in the south. We are encouraged in this attribution by lot 160 in this sale, which combines two of the present materials, coconut shell and ivory, with panels of typically Guangzhou-style decoration.

    This combination of the three materials is a rare one for snuff bottles, or indeed for any other works of art.

    椰殼嵌琥珀雕雲龍紋鼻煙壺

    琥珀、椰殼、象牙; 平唇,突出凹底,以凸面椰殼一片和另一片為框架,加以凸面琥珀一面,頸及底以象牙雕成,琥珀開光淺浮雕雲集龍,反面有減地陽刻"□刊"(第一個字尚未辨讀)
    擬屬廣東省,1770–1860
    高﹕ 4.34 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.56/1.14 厘米
    蓋﹕ 貝母;珊瑚座

    狀態敘述﹕象牙唇有三道裂縫,琥珀開光呈微乎其微的缺口。一般性相對的狀態﹕良善

    來源:
    J.W.A. International Inc. (1992)

    文獻﹕
    Kleiner 1995, 編號 352
    Treasury 7, 編號 1657

    展覽﹕
    大英博物館, 1995年6月~10月
    Israel Museum, 耶路撒冷,1997年7月~月11月

    琥珀開光雕的雲龍紋是典型的廣東雕風。同樣的紋飾可見於一系列的端硯 (參閱 Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, 編號 84 及 85。)
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