An inside-painted glass 'butterflies' snuff bottle Ma Shaoxuan, cyclically dated bingshen year (AD 1896)
Lot 183Y
An inside-painted glass 'butterflies' snuff bottle Ma Shaoxuan, cyclically dated bingshen year (AD 1896)
Sold for £5,000 (US$ 8,077) inc. premium

Lot Details
An inside-painted glass 'butterflies' snuff bottle Ma Shaoxuan, cyclically dated bingshen year (AD 1896)
An inside-painted glass 'butterflies' snuff bottle
Ma Shaoxuan, cyclically dated bingshen year (AD 1896)
The flattened rectangular body delicately painted on one side with a dainty green butterfly hovering above smaller butterflies in various colours pollinating a bush of flowers, all under an inscription Huan tian xi di (blissful sky and joyful land) with the seal Shao, the reverse with a poem in regular script followed by the artist's signature and seal, coral stopper.
5.9cm (2 1/3in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • 玻璃內畫彩蝶紋鼻煙壺
    馬少宣,1896年作

    Provenance: A European private collection and thence by descent

    來源:歐洲私人收藏,並由家族繼承下去

    The poem reads:

    百樣精神百樣春,
    小園深處靜無塵。
    筆花妙得天然趣,
    不是尋常夢裡人。

    Which may be translated as:

    'The hundreds of living creatures in the hundreds of springs,
    Deep in the small garden it is tranquil without dust.
    The painted blossoms so marvellous they capture the essence of nature.
    This is not the dream of a common man.'

    Ma Shaoxuan (1867-1939), together with Zhou Leyuan and Ye Zhongsan, are known as the three masters of inside-painted snuff bottles. The subject of 'butterflies' is one of his recognised themes in snuff bottles, which also influenced other renowned artists such as Gui Xianggu.

    Compare an example in the Humphrey K.F.Hui Collection illustrated by H.Hui, S.Y.Lai and P.Lam, Inkplay in Microcosm: Inside-painted Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Humphrey K.F.Hui Collection, Hong Kong, 2002, no.29 and 32.
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