Property from an important private collection (lots 531-538)
A white jade pebble-shaped snuff bottle
Mid Qing dynasty The pebble-shaped bottle finely worked on the exterior with a continuous scene of flowering plants emerging from rockworks, stone well-hollowed and polished of a semi-translucent white tone. 9.2cm high.
Provenance 來源： Bonhams Knightsbridge, 18 June 1996, lot 137
The tradition of creating snuff bottles began in the West from the seventeenth century, and began to appear in China during the early Qing dynasty. The snuff bottle culture did not arrive from the West earlier as foreign relations and contacts were halted during the Ming dynasty. During the Kangxi period, the sea embargo was lifted and Jesuits brought over many Western snuff bottles and began to incorporate them into the Chinese society. However, it was not until the Qianlong period when the development of snuff bottles in China reached an unsurpassed level, where snuff bottles were no longer just a simple container, but also representative of hierarchy and wealth.
The quality of the current lot is judged by the transparent hollowness and the its high quality white jade workmanship; the overall aesthetic is intricate, beautiful and well-polished. The size suggests that the current lot would have originally been unhollowed and used as a paper weight or an object of appreciation. However, it was hollowed during the late Qing dynasty and used as a snuff bottle. The subject surrounding the exterior is unique, with flowering plants emerging from rockworks, symbolising life emerging from the toughest of situations.
For similar examples in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, see Snuff Bottles in the Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1991, p.160, nos.148 and 150. See also Moss, Graham and Tsang A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection of Snuff Bottles: Part 1, pp.314-317, no.125, subsequently sold in these rooms, 28 May 2010, lot 140.
可比較台北國立故宮博物院藏之白玉雕鼻煙壺，青白玉茄蝶鼻煙壺及青白玉果蟬鼻煙壺，見國立故宮博物院編輯委員會編，《故宮鼻煙壺》，台北，1991，頁160，編號148及150。以雕工及花果蟲鳥之題材來看，這兩件煙壺與本拍品有相近之處。也可參考瑪麗及莊智博舊藏之閃玉石卵料人物風景鼻煙壺，收錄於莫士撝, Victor Graham 及曾嘉寶著，《A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection》，第1冊，頁314-317，編號125，後拍賣於香港邦瀚斯，2010年5月28日，拍品編號140。該煙壺內容為文人山水，而且以俏色雕製而成，但與本壺一樣，體形比較大，而且雕工相類。
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