Qing dynasty, 1760-1860 Of compressed rectangular form, intricately carved in high relief with a continuous scene of six squirrels clambering on grape vines, suspending grapes and leaves. 5.7cm high.
The popular subject of grapes and squirrels appeared as early as the Tang dynasty, and is a homophone of great reproductive power. The attribution to the zodiac zi of the Earthly branch of the squirrels and the plentiful grapes growing in large clusters on vines implies a wish for a grandson. Compare a closely related coral snuff bottle from 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.3, Stones other than Jade and Quartz, Hong Kong, 1998, p.170, no.429, where the authors argue that this entire group was a mid Qing dynasty Imperial group carved at the Court, or at Yangzhou, Suzhou or Guangdong.
葡萄紋為中國工藝品常見裝飾題材，最早見於唐代。參見瑪麗及莊智博藏一件珊瑚雕松鼠葡萄紋鼻煙壺，除其底部採用玲瓏雕工藝外，其形制及紋飾與本壺基本一致，莫士撝, Victor Graham 及曾嘉寶著，《A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection》，第3冊，頁170，編號429。書中作者認為同類鼻煙壺應為揚州、蘇州或廣東地區專門為宮廷所作。
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