An carved agate 'lantern festival' snuff bottle Suzhou, Qing dynasty, 1770-1860
Lot 88
A carved agate 'lantern festival' snuff bottle Suzhou, School of Zhiting, 1750-1850
Sold for HK$ 375,000 (US$ 48,387) inc. premium
Lot Details
A carved agate 'lantern festival' snuff bottle
Suzhou, School of Zhiting, 1750-1850
Of compressed globular form, rising from a flattened foot to a cylindrical neck, superbly carved in varying levels of relief, utilising the natural colour variations in the stone, with a figure holding a parasol beside a figure with a walking stick and another in contemplation, the reverse with a boy with an animal in front of a double door, the corner carved in relief with four-character inscription in draft script.
4.4cm high.

Footnotes

  • The inscription reads Dengyue jiaohui, which translates as 'The light of the moon and lantern converge'. The lantern festival, or Yuanxiao festival, is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar calendar. On the first night when the moon is visible, people traditionally go out at night carrying lanterns.

    For another example of this rare group, almost certainly by the same school, see Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Vol.2, Quartz, Hong Kong, 1998, pp.538-541, no.377. The style of relief carving is very similar, and it shares unique features, such as the treatment of the figures and the low relief door. It is also carved in relief with a five-character inscription in draft script, Aiyue yemian chi, which the authors translate as 'Being fond of the moon, (I) sleep late at night', the overall subject matter being of a scholar in his garden at night.

    清 1750-1850 蘇州 芝亭流派  瑪瑙巧雕燈月交輝鼻煙壺

    壺扁圓身,直頸,口微凹,平底,掏堂規整。壺身通景俏色巧雕正月十五元宵節熱鬧景象,一面利用瑪瑙深色紋理雕一手持燈籠的童子於庭院外,庭院大門旁一顆松柏高至壺頸,周邊圍繞山石,石上題:「燈月交輝」。另一側俏色巧雕兩小童,一童雙手持魚燈與另一頭戴虎帽的小童玩耍,旁邊一老者杵杖而行,四周湖石圍繞。壺通景上方肩部雕一圈玉帶雲紋圍繞。

    另一件與本拍品雕工相近,可大致肯定為出自同一門派的例子,見莫士撝, Victor Graham 及曾嘉寶著,《A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection》,第2冊,頁538-541,編號377。其雕工跟本壺十分相似,如人物之形態,門及門環之刻劃等,皆如出一轍,此壺也有五字題款,描述文人夜歸。
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