A fine and rare embellished gilt-copper and agate two-tiered oval box and cover Qianlong
Lot 10
A fine and rare embellished gilt-copper and agate two-tiered oval box and cover
Qianlong
Sold for HK$ 437,500 (US$ 56,402) inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine and rare embellished gilt-copper and agate two-tiered oval box and cover Qianlong A fine and rare embellished gilt-copper and agate two-tiered oval box and cover Qianlong A fine and rare embellished gilt-copper and agate two-tiered oval box and cover Qianlong A fine and rare embellished gilt-copper and agate two-tiered oval box and cover Qianlong A fine and rare embellished gilt-copper and agate two-tiered oval box and cover Qianlong
A fine and rare embellished gilt-copper and agate two-tiered oval box and cover
Qianlong
The straight-sided oval container opening at top and bottom, decorated with inset red and white embellishments including a few natural diamond chips towards the rims and on the cover, the recessed side panels inset with agate of vivid white and pale brown natural tones, gilt overall in rich gold and cast with Western-influenced Rococo motifs in relief, the base chased with a central insignia featuring a double-headed mythical creature and opening to reveal a raised hidden glass panel framing a yellow-ground textile panel.
8.3cm wide; 6.5cm deep; 6cm high.

Footnotes

  • 清乾隆 雕金嵌瑪瑙蓋盒

    The London jeweller James Cox is best known for his mechanical clocks which were shipped in quite large quantities to India and Canton. It seems likely that he developed his particular specialty, the use of garnets, diamonds and glass equivalents to embellish a clock case, from his knowledge of Indian jewelled artifacts. He clearly had a particular affection for using agate in his display pieces, especially brown and white banded agate.

    An exceptional ormolu and agate clock for the Chinese market, made by James Cox and still keeping the original key signed and dated by him, was sold in our London rooms, 12 December 2012. See also a comparable agate-set cage-mounted rectangular snuff box in the manner of Cox, now secured within the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated by Hou, Yi-Li, Lifting the Spirit and Body: The Art and Culture of Snuff Bottles, Taipei, 2012, pp.62-63, no.I-004 (fig.1). See also another similar example now in Temple Newsan House, Leeds, illustrated by A. Kenneth Snowman, Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Europe, pl.453. For a pair of Canton gilt-copper and agate snuff boxes which were Tribute boxes to Beijing, see Tributes from Guangdong to the Qing Court, op.cit., nos.29, 30, col.pl.76.

    Imported agate boxes show up regularly in lists of gifts from Canton officials to the Qing Court: for example, in the 11th year of Yongzheng (1733) Mao Keming, Superintendent of Guangdong Maritime Customs and Zheng Wusai, Deputy Superintendent jointly presented rose quartz court necklaces, Yidalun snuff boxes, foreign agate snuff boxes and variegated agate snuff boxes: see Tributes from Guangdong to the Qing Court, op.cit., p.58.

    上下掀蓋之橢圓形盒,全蓋及盒身以雕金渦捲式花葉紋裝飾框,內嵌灰色纏絲瑪瑙,蓋中央鑲有閃料石,呈圓形排列,盒身間以鑽石及閃料石點綴,蓋及盒口沿位置更飾紅料閃石一周。底部中央陰刻雙鳥及皇冠紋,圍以纏枝艾草紋,底部成下掀蓋,內有編織品,以黃地如意紋為飾。上掀蓋部份比較厚重,而且外邊沿位置有一小洞,相信蓋內原本為音樂盒,而盒子儲放鼻煙,整體高貴雅致,盡顯貴族皇室之氣派。

    本盒主要設計:雕金渦捲式花葉紋裝飾內嵌瑪瑙,是一種特別藝術風格,台北國立故宮博物院藏金嵌瑪瑙鼻煙盒也有相近設計(fig.1),該鼻煙盒為英國James Cox製作,屬十八世紀之產物,見侯怡利編:《通嚏輕揚-鼻煙壺文化特展》,台北,2012年,頁62-63,編號I-004。同款蓋盒也出版於A.Kenneth Snowman著,《Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Europe》,圖版453。James Cox是一位著名的倫敦珠寶工匠,他從印度珠寶製作中吸取靈感,以鑲嵌寶石、鑽石、料石為鐘殼,風格以渦捲式雕金嵌各色瑪瑙最為人熟識,其製作之鐘件常運往印度及廣東,其設計之鐘件可參見2012年12月12日倫敦邦瀚斯拍賣。
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