An inside-painted glass 'Li Hongzhang and Prince Qing' snuff bottle Ziyizi, Beijing, 1900–1905
Lot 9
An inside-painted glass 'Li Hongzhang and Prince Qing' snuff bottle Ziyizi, Beijing, 1900–1905
Sold for HK$ 312,500 (US$ 40,300) inc. premium
Lot Details
An inside-painted glass 'Li Hongzhang and Prince Qing' snuff bottle
Ziyizi, Beijing, 1900–1905
6.75cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 4, no. 624

    玻璃內畫李鴻章及慶親王奕劻肖像鼻煙壺
    自怡子,北京,1900~1905

    An inside-painted glass 'Li Hongzhang' snuff bottle

    Glass and ink; with a slightly concave lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim; painted on the two main sides with monochrome portrait busts, each set in a painted oval frame, one of Prince Qing (Yikuang), the other of Li Hongzhang.

    Ziyizi, Beijing, 1900–1905
    Height: 6.75 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.52/1.80 cm
    Stopper: glass; chalcedony finial (now missing); vinyl collar

    Condition: Bottle: practically imperceptible chip in outer lip; tiny chip in the inner lip; small smoothed out chip to the footrim. Painting: studio condition

    Provenance:
    N. C. Shen
    Emily Byrne Curtis (1986)
    Robert Kleiner (1986)

    Published:
    Curtis 1982, pp. 5 and 6, no. 27
    JICSBS, Autumn 1985, p. 132, figs. 5 and 6
    Kleiner 1987, no. 301
    Galeries Lafayette 1990, p. 11, no. 2
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 349
    Kleiner 1995, no. 398
    Treasury 4, no. 624

    Exhibited:
    The Newark Museum, October–November 1982
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
    Galeries Lafayette, Paris, April 1990
    Creditanstalt, Vienna, May–June 1993
    Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
    National Museum, Singapore, November 1994–February 1995
    British Museum, London, June–November 1995
    Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997
    Christie's, London, 1999

    For our most recent ruminations on the identity of Ziyizi, see Sale 3, lot 65.

    Ziyizi painted a number of portrait bottles, several of them, like this, with different portraits on each side, and some of those with single portraits lacking any inscriptions or signature. It also seems likely that the portrait of Li Hongzhang was taken from the same photograph as another by Ma Shaoxuan (Curtis 1980, p. 2, fig. 3, where p. 6, fig. 8 illustrates the Mullin Ziyizi portrait of this same figure, and p. 1, fig. 2 shows the photograph from which they were all taken). Although this bottle is unsigned and undated, there is no question as to its attribution, since Ziyizi's style in general is not easily confused with any other artist's, and his portraits are quite distinctive. The date is less certain. Li Hongzhang died in late 1901, Prince Qing in early 1917; and although these portraits could have been done after their subjects' death, it is more likely that the bottle was commissioned while Prince Qing was alive. He was very powerful but famously corrupt, and whoever commissioned this bottle must have hoped to curry favour. Or, the person who commissioned the bottle may have supported Prince Qing's conciliatory attitude in 1899 – 1901toward the Westerners and his disdain for the Boxers and their ilk. In fact, one reason to picture the two men together is that they were both signatories to the Boxer Protocol in 1901.

    Ziyizi painted his only two dated portraits in 1906 and 1907, the latter being his masterpiece from the J & J Collection; it is unlikely to pre-date this example. It seems, therefore, that this one must have been painted at some time between the turn of the century and 1907, perhaps closer to 1901.

    Ziyizi's style of portraiture is distinguished from Ma's by a number of features. The most telling difference is in the use of chiaroscuro. There is a much greater sense of dark and light in Ziyizi's portraits, partly because of the darker frame he so often used, but also because of the heavier and more realistic shading. There is a much greater impression of studio lighting in his portraits. What is intriguing and may suggest that most of his portraits were done prior to 1906 is that the two that have the least chiaroscuro are those dated to 1906 and 1907, the latter being much closer to Ma Shaoxuan's style in the shading of the face and more subtle and evolved than these.

    For details on Prince Qing, together with a photograph from which this painting was taken, see JICSBS, Autumn 1985, p. 132.


    玻璃內畫雙肖像鼻煙壺

    玻璃、墨;微凹唇,凸斂底,突出圈足,圈足底為一圓棱;一面內繪慶親王奕劻,一面內繪李鴻章
    自怡子,北京,1900–1905
    高﹕ 6.75 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.52/1.80 厘米
    蓋﹕ 玻璃;玉髓頂飾 (已脫); 乙烯基座

    狀態敘述:壺﹕唇外緣有微不足道,幾乎看不見的缺口,唇內緣有細小缺口,圈足呈剜去的小缺口。內畫﹕出齋狀態

    來源:
    N. C. Shen
    艾米莉.比爾內.科蒂絲 (1986)
    Robert Kleiner (1986)

    文獻﹕
    Curtis 1982, pp. 5 and 6, 編號 27
    《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》,1985年秋期,頁132, 圖 5 及 6
    Kleiner 1987, 編號 301
    Galeries Lafayette 1990, p. 11, 編號 2
    Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, 編號 349
    Kleiner 1995, 編號 398
    Treasury 4, 編號 624

    展覽﹕
    Newark Museum, October–November 1982
    Sydney L. Moss Ltd.,倫敦,1987年10月
    Galeries Lafayette, Paris, April 1990
    Creditanstalt, 維也納, 1993年5月~6月
    香港藝術館,1994年3月~6月
    National Museum of Singapore,1994年11月~1995年2月
    大英博物館, 1995年6月~11月
    Israel Museum, 耶路撒冷,1997年7月~月11月
    倫敦佳士得,1999年

    對於自怡子是誰的新思考,參見 本拍賣,第三部份, 拍賣品號 65.

    所依據的李鴻章照片,見Curtis 1980, 頁1,圖2。至于本壺是哪年畫的,大概是慶親王奕劻 (1852 – 1917) 在世的時候。委托製作這件鼻煙壺的人可揣度是想跟奕劻討好,奕劻升仙之後,不會有人想記念他,他是聲名狼藉的贓官污吏。所以,我們可以假定這是1917年以前畫的。再考慮奕劻 1899 – 1901年間蔑視義和團,對西洋人取了調解的態度,委托製作本壺的人是贊成奕劻和李鴻章處理義和團的路線是可以理解的。他們兩是辛丑條約的簽字人,如果本壺和那件事有關係,很可能是1901年畫的。李鴻章是那年十一月逝世的。 奕劻,參閱《國際中國鼻煙壺協會的學術期刊》,1985年秋期,頁132.
Activities
Similar items