A 'famille rose' porcelain 'dragon and phoenix' snuff bottle Nezhai Mingbei mark, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1796–1820
Lot 98
A 'famille rose' porcelain 'dragon and phoenix' snuff bottle Nezhai Mingbei mark, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1796–1820
Sold for HK$ 175,000 (US$ 22,577) inc. premium

Lot Details
A 'famille rose' porcelain 'dragon and phoenix' snuff bottle Nezhai Mingbei mark, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1796–1820 A 'famille rose' porcelain 'dragon and phoenix' snuff bottle Nezhai Mingbei mark, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1796–1820 A 'famille rose' porcelain 'dragon and phoenix' snuff bottle Nezhai Mingbei mark, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1796–1820 A 'famille rose' porcelain 'dragon and phoenix' snuff bottle Nezhai Mingbei mark, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1796–1820 A 'famille rose' porcelain 'dragon and phoenix' snuff bottle Nezhai Mingbei mark, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1796–1820
A 'famille rose' porcelain 'dragon and phoenix' snuff bottle
Nezhai Mingbei mark, probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1796–1820
7.42cm high.

Footnotes

  • Treasury 6, no. 1205

    瓷胎模製粉彩龍鳳呈祥鼻煙壺
    擬景德鎮官窯製,紅彩「訥齋明備」楷書款,1796~1820

    A 'famille rose' porcelain 'dragon-and-fenghuang' snuff bottle

    Famille rose enamels on colourless glaze, on porcelain; with a slightly convex lip and concave foot surrounded by a convex footrim; moulded and painted with a continuous design of a three-clawed dragon chasing a flaming pearl and a fenghuang, turning in flight to look down upon a beribboned ruyi-sceptre, surrounded by formalized clouds and flames, with the sun seen beyond a small group of clouds on a lower plane of more densely-packed formalized clouds, with some of the upper plane of detail undercut to leave it free standing, framed between bands of formalized lingzhi, the neck with a band of continuous leiwen ('thunder pattern'); the lip and neck rim painted gold; the foot inscribed in regular script, Nezhai Mingbei; the interior unglazed
    Probably Imperial, Jingdezhen, 1796–1820
    Height: 7.42 cm
    Mouth/lip: 0.60/1.95 cm
    Stopper: turquoise-blue, iron-red, green, yellow, and black enamel on colourless glaze on porcelain, moulded with a formalized chrysanthemum design; original

    Condition: Very slight wear to protruding enamels and gilding across lip; minute chips on the dragon's head just above the eyes, and a small piece of the feathers missing from the fenghuang; otherwise, kiln condition.
    General relative condition: excellent

    Provenance:
    Henry and Lynn Prager
    Robert Kleiner, 1998

    Published:
    Treasury 6, no. 1205

    A small group of Jiaqing moulded porcelain bottles made at the Imperial kilns bear what appears to be a private studio name, despite the fact that their subject matter, colouring, and quality are identical to reign-marked examples for the court. A similar phenomenon occurs during the Daoguang period, when almost identical enamelled porcelain bottles can bear either the Daoguang reign mark or the studio name Yongle tang. In both cases, the likely answer is that the studio name belonged to a member of the Imperial family and that specific bottles made at the Imperial kilns at Jingdezhen were ordered bearing that name, perhaps as a gift from the emperor.

    We have now identified that person as a grandson of the Kangxi emperor named Yonglang (1756 – 1799). He had the title Prince Yigong, and he was actively memorializing the throne on economic matters in the 1790s. He is identified as the Nezhai Man of the Way who put up the money for a poetry collection (Fu, Chi, and Bian 2002, p. 202), and there is a 1793 book by a Nezhai Man of the Way on drinking games—published by the Yi Household (Yi as in the princely lineage to which Yonglang belonged). Nezhai, by the way, may be translated 'Studio of Reticence' or 'Studio of Hesitant Speech'.

    The mingbei part of the mark retains its mystery. In other uses we have seen of the phrase, it refers to rules and regulations being 'clear and complete'. In the present context, it must mean something like 'approved and ready for use', but we are still looking for corroboration.

    The bottle was undoubtedly made at the same kilns as those with Imperial marks. The design, enamels, glaze and quality of workmanship are all identical. The dating of this mould is confirmed by many other examples with Jiaqing reign marks. See, for instance, Au Hang 1993, no. 299, which appears to be from the same mould but with a different colour scheme and rare dark-grey ground. Another, also apparently from the same mould, is in Silver 1987, no. 58. Another bottle marked Nezhai Mingbei but a dark, sapphire-blue monochrome, also identical to many Imperial examples, was in Christie's, Hong Kong, 1 October 1991, lot 1153.

    This one is virtually unworn and presents itself complete with its original stopper.

    瓷胎模製粉彩龍鳳呈祥鼻煙壺

    瓷胎無色釉上粉彩琺瑯;微凸唇,凹底,凸圈足;製畫通體龍鳳呈祥,頸飾雲雷紋一圈,其下及靠圈足為如意雲頭,唇與突出唇外緣鎏金,底書紅彩"訥廌明備"雙行雙框楷款;內壁不施釉
    大概為景德鎮官窯製,1796–1820
    高﹕ 7.42 厘米
    口徑/唇徑: 0.60/1.95 厘米
    蓋﹕瓷胎無色釉上粉彩琺瑯;模形式化菊花紋;原件

    狀態敘述:突出的琺瑯彩和唇上鎏金呈微乎其微的損耗,龍額有微乎其微的缺口,鳳凰脫落了羽毛一小塊;此外,出窯狀態. 一般性相對的狀態:極善

    來源:
    Henry and Lynn Prager
    Robert Kleiner, 1998

    文獻﹕
    Treasury 6, 編號 1205

    訥齋道人,康熙孫子永琅 (1756 – 1799) 也。封怡恭親王。曾捐錢出版別人的詩集 (傅波、遲安臻、邊佐卿 2002, 頁 202),1793年怡王府出版了自己編的、吳焯繪《酒人觴政》。

    "明備"未明。一般來說,這個詞語是(規制、禮樂等)明確完備的意思。這兒裏也許跟奏明備用有關係。

    本壺的造型有的多帶嘉慶年款的例子。 區鏗 1993, 編號 299 似乎是同一模子出的,但色調迥異。出這模子的還有如 Silver 1987, 編號 58。有"訥齋明備"款的有香港佳士得, 1991年10月1日,拍賣品號 1153。
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