A Baltic amber snuff bottle Qing dynasty, 1740–1840
Lot 1
A Baltic amber snuff bottle Qing dynasty, 1740–1840
Sold for HK$ 125,000 (US$ 16,119) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Baltic amber snuff bottle
Qing dynasty, 1740–1840
Of flattened rectangular section, rising to a cylindrical neck from a wide oval foot, with organic inclusions in shades of russet and creamy caramel streaking across the body.
6.1cm high.

Footnotes

  • Illustrated:
    Paul Braga, Hong Kong Chinese Snuff Bottle Collectors, Arts of Asia, November-December 1976, Vol.6, No.6, p.85.

    Baltic amber belongs to the amber family, translucent in appearance and found around the Baltic region. It is characterised by its rich yellow tone, commonly referred to as jiyouhuang or 'chicken oil yellow', and is harvested from fossilised tree resin which has endured intense high pressure and heat underground for thousands of years.

    Such rare material was extremely valuable to the Qing court, where it was prized for its natural beauty. For a closely related amber snuff bottle in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated with its original lacquer box, see Snuff Bottles in the Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1991, p.254, pl.378.

    See also a related example in the Mary and George Bloch collection, illustrated by Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Vol.7, Hong Kong, 2009, pp.277-278, no.1574, and sold in these rooms, 25 May 2011, lot 71.

    清 1740–1840 蜜蠟光素鼻煙壺

    蜜蠟溫潤細膩,以橘黃色為主,上有淺黃及雞油黃色等變化。壺呈圓角方扁瓶形,直頸,圓肩,橢圓形圈足。

    蜜蠟是一種不透明的琥珀,產於波羅的海一帶,常見顏色有淺黃、雞油黃、橘黃、紅色等。蜜蠟乃樹脂液掉在土裡,受到地層熱力和壓力的影響,經千年的沉澱而成,形成偶然,十分珍貴。對於這類珍貴的物料,一般都不會雕以任何飾紋,盡量表現出其自然美。

    此類天然難得的物料,是宮中珍而重之之物。現藏台北故宮博物院的琥珀式鼻煙壺便是一例,該鼻煙壺造型與本壺相似,呈圓角方瓶形,安放在一個專門的雙色漆盒內,漆盒設計特別,做工精細,從其收藏的形式中可見宮廷對琥珀一類鼻煙壺的重視。見國立故宮博物院,《故宮鼻煙壺》,台北,1991,頁254,圖版378。

    在瑪麗及莊智博珍藏中,也有一件蜜蠟光素鼻煙壺,同樣地,其四角也是較圓的,與本壺如出一轍,是清中期典型的造型。見莫士撝, Victor Graham 及曾嘉寶著,《A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection 》,第7冊,第一部份,頁277-278,編號1574,後拍賣於香港邦瀚斯,瑪麗及莊智博鼻煙壺珍藏:第三部份,2011年5月25日,拍品編號71。

    出版:
    Paul Braga,《Hong Kong Chinese Snuff Bottle Collectors》,Arts of Asia,1976年11-12月,卷6,第六期,頁85
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