An inside-painted glass 'chicken' snuff bottle   Ding Erzhong, Xuannan, Beijing, dated 1898
Lot 86
An inside-painted glass 'chicken' snuff bottle Ding Erzhong, Xuannan, Beijing, dated 1898
Sold for HK$ 250,000 (US$ 32,232) inc. premium

Lot Details
An inside-painted glass 'chicken' snuff bottle   Ding Erzhong, Xuannan, Beijing, dated 1898 An inside-painted glass 'chicken' snuff bottle   Ding Erzhong, Xuannan, Beijing, dated 1898 An inside-painted glass 'chicken' snuff bottle   Ding Erzhong, Xuannan, Beijing, dated 1898 An inside-painted glass 'chicken' snuff bottle   Ding Erzhong, Xuannan, Beijing, dated 1898 An inside-painted glass 'chicken' snuff bottle   Ding Erzhong, Xuannan, Beijing, dated 1898
An inside-painted glass 'chicken' snuff bottle
Ding Erzhong, Xuannan, Beijing, dated 1898
6.03cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 4, no. 549

    玻璃內畫公雞圖鼻煙壺
    丁二仲,宣南,北京,1898年作

    An inside-painted 'searching for plum blossoms' snuff bottle

    Glass, ink, and watercolours; with a concave lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim; painted on one main side with a landscape in which a scholar rides a donkey across a bridge over one corner of an expanse of water and beneath ancient pine trees, with the branches of a blossoming prunus at the top of the picture and other blossoming branches around the trunks of the pines, the other main side with a rooster with four chicks and a possible fifth beyond the outcrop on which he stands, with a blossoming shrub and the branches of a tree above, inscribed in draft script 'In imitation of the brush method of a Yuan artist, Erzhong painted his ideas during the winter of the year wuxu', with one seal of the artist, Ding, in positive regular script
    Ding Erzhong, Xuannan, Beijing, winter, 1898
    Height: 6.03 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.54/1.59 cm
    Stopper: coral, carved with a coiled chi dragon

    Condition: Bottle: some surface abrasions from use, slight fading to the painting on the reverse side; otherwise, workshop condition.
    Painting: slight snuff staining. General relative condition: excellent

    Provenance:
    Trojan Collection
    Robert Hall (1993)

    Published:
    Hall 1992, no. 86
    Kleiner 1995, no. 391
    Treasury 4, no. 549

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

    The subject is the popular 'Searching for Prunus Blossom in the Snow' (see Sale 1, lot 91, by Zhou Leyuan). Ding's indication of a snowy landscape is less obvious than Zhou Leyuan's. Ding first painted this subject in 1895 on the magnificent bottle from the Stephen Thal Collection now in the Seattle Art Museum (Chen 1998, p. 84, no. 38) but the differences between the Thal bottle, this one, and Treasury 4, no. 554, all demonstrate, yet again, that although Ding might paint the same subject over and over again, as did so many Chinese artists of the literati tradition, he never painted the same painting twice.

    On the other side, the number of chicks intended is uncertain. As a rule, the subject either has two or three, to represent chicks in general, or five, to give the more precise symbolism noted below. Here, however, the exact number is a trifle ambiguous, since the one beyond the bank has none of the body colouring of those in front of it and appears to be a random group of grassy markings that happen to look like a chick. Chicks in general represent ample progeny. Five chicks allude to the success story of Dou Yujun, better known as Dou Yanshan, a high official serving the court of the Later Zhou (951–960). Dou was noted in his hometown for charitable deeds and active promotion of scholarship. Under his guidance, his five sons, one after the other, attained the jinshi degree. Many people have found Dou's conduct worthy of emulation. His achievement in shaping the careers of his sons has also been deemed exemplary. The five chicks, therefore, form an allegory with an encouraging note: 'Through your efficient training at home, your offspring will surely achieve scholastic distinction'.

    This is one example of Ding's debt to Zhou Leyuan. See Zhou's cockerels on Sale 3, lot 22, and on no. 415 in Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993.

    玻璃內畫騎驢尋梅圖鼻煙壺

    玻璃,墨,水彩; 凹唇, 凸斂底,突出圈足,圈足底為一圓棱; 一面內繪騎驢尋梅圖,一面內繪大雞帶小雞圖,題曰﹕"仿元人畫法,戊戌冬二仲寫",後署朱文"丁"印
    丁二仲, 宣南,北京,1898年冬
    高﹕ 6.03 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.54/1.59 厘米
    蓋﹕珊瑚,雕蟠螭

    狀態敘述:壺﹕經過歲月的觸摸以後表面有所磨耗,一面的畫圖呈微乎其微的退色。此外,出坊狀態。內畫﹕微乎其微的鼻煙染污。一般性相對的狀態:極善

    來源:
    特落伊珍藏
    羅伯特.霍爾 (1993)

    文獻﹕
    Hall 1992, 編號 86
    Kleiner 1995, 編號 391
    Treasury 4, 編號 549

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

    雪中尋梅是很受歡迎的主題。跟周樂元1890年作的第一場拍賣會, 拍賣品號 91比,雪景的表示不是那麼清楚。丁二仲第一次畫這個主題是1895年,是舊金山玉石學家捐獻西雅圖美術館的 (Chen 1998, 頁 84, 編號 38) 。看這件壺,Thal氏的那件,和 Treasury 4, 編號 554,又能了解到,丁二仲雖然多次畫同一個題目,可是每次都是重新思考設計。

    公雞帶子畫是丁二仲學習周樂元的一個例子。參見周畫的第三場拍賣會,拍賣品號 22以及 Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993,編號415。
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