An inside-painted rock-crystal 'traveller and crane' snuff bottle Ding Erzhong, 1898-1899
Lot 34
An inside-painted rock-crystal 'traveller and crane' snuff bottle Ding Erzhong, circa 1898-1899
Sold for HK$ 350,000 (US$ 45,136) inc. premium
Lot Details
An inside-painted rock-crystal 'traveller and crane' snuff bottle
Ding Erzhong, circa 1898-1899
Of rectangular form, intricately painted on the inside with a mountainous scene of a traveller on a donkey journeying across a bridge, the reverse with a crane perched on a rock under a pine tree, both sides with kaishu inscriptions, two signatures and painted seal marks of the artist.
5.7cm high.


  • Cranes are a popular subject matter amongst Ding Erzhong inside-painted snuff bottles, as they symbolise longevity and a rise through the ranks of official position. It is noteworthy that the artist seldom painted the same composition and hence every snuff bottle is unique and one of a kind.

    'Searching for Prunus Blossoms in the Snow' is another common subject matter of Ding's snuff bottles. The tale of Meng Haoran (689-740), riding a donkey and searching for prunus blossoms on a snowy day, demonstrates a scholar's willingness to spend time and appreciate the beauty of the nature. For similar examples, see Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: the Mary and George Bloch Collection, Vol.4, Inside-Painted, Hong Kong, 2000, pp.298-299 & 309-310, no.549 and 554. By comparing these snuff bottles, it is clear that Ding had the tendency to paint scholars with orangey-red colour clothes, which contrast greatly against the light colour of landscapes.

    In the history of Chinese painting, Shi Zhou, or better known as Qiu Ying (c.1494-1552), the famous Suzhou professional painter in Ming dynasty, excelled at different kinds of painting style, fine or freehand brushwork, and was named one of Four Masters of Wu School.

    約1898-1899 丁二仲 水晶內畫踏雪尋梅鼻煙壺

    壺呈方形瓶,邊緣位置略為磨平,方中帶圓,圓直頸,方足圈。一面繪有壯碩松樹,一隻鶴子站在石上,上題「松鶴遐齡 二仲」,下畫「二中」白文長方印,;另一面繪在山石背景下,文人坐著驢子,回首看梅,梅花卻未開,充分表現出踏雪尋梅之意,上題「仿十洲先生法 二仲」,下畫「丁」白文方印。


    踏雪尋梅故事是說孟浩然(689-740)常騎驢,冒雪尋梅,為賞景苦等之意。丁二仲曾多次繪畫踏雪尋梅這母題,例子可參見莫士撝, Victor Graham 及曾嘉寶著,《A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection》,第4冊,第一部份,頁298-299,編號549及同冊,第二部份,頁309-310,編號554。綜合多件丁二仲的作品,可見畫家喜以淺降山水為背景,孟浩然則穿以橙紅色的衣服,突出主角,而早期之構圖較多交代背景。


Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this bottle is glass.
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