Qing dynasty, 1750-1850 The attractive variegated orange-beige and honey-brown stone carved in the form of a jujube, with curvaceous incised lines, terminating in a slightly recessed node at the base, further accentuated by russet tones of maroon and egg-yolk yellow with four peanuts and a plum blossom on the exterior. 5.1cm high.
Exhibited: Chinese Snuff Bottles, jointly presented by Hong Kong Chinese Snuff Bottle Collectors Study Group and the Urban Council, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 15 Oct to 26 Nov 1977
Illustrated: Chinese Snuff Bottles, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1977, pp.89 & 128, pl.203
The combination of jujubes and peanuts is a typical toggle in jade carvings and snuff bottles made for the Imperial court. See an Imperial nephrite bottle inscribed with a Qianlong reign mark from the Edward T. Chow Collection, illustrated by Robert Hall, The Art of an Imperial Addiction. Chinese Snuff Bottles VII, London, 1995, pp.56-63, no. 8. The Chinese term for jujubes, zaozi is a homophony for 'early son', while peanuts is a pun for 'giving birth'. Taken together, the jujube and peanuts can thus be interpreted as 'may you soon give birth to a distinguished son'.
For another agate snuff bottle in the shape of a jujube, see The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum 47, Snuff Bottles, Hong Kong, 2003, p.165, pl.255. See also a snuff bottle of similar texture and decoration, but of compressed form, formerly in the J & J Collection, and now in the Adelina and Roberto Foti Collection, illustrated in the Atomo Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Hong Kong, 2009, p. 42, no. 37. For a similar example in chalcedony, see Clare Lawrence, Miniature Masterpiece from the Middle Kingdom: the Monimar Collection of Chinese snuff bottles, London, 1996, no.49.
此類以蜜棗花生為主題，多見於清代為宮廷所作所作的玉雕及巧雕瑪瑙鼻煙壺之上。參看仇炎之舊藏一件軟玉雕早生貴子瓶，刻有「乾隆御玩」款識，而其主題與其他用瑪瑙所作鼻煙壺基本一致，見Robert Hall，《Chinese Snuff Bottles VII》，頁56-63，編號8。北京故宮博物院藏意見瑪瑙蜜棗形鼻煙壺，見李久芳、張榮編《故宮博物院藏文物珍品全集：鼻煙壺》，香港，2003年，頁165，編號255。另一件例子，可參考Clare Lawrence，《Miniature Masterpiece from the Middle Kingdom: the Monimar Collection of Chinese snuff bottles》，倫敦，1996，編號49。
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