• Lot 68

    RARE ET IMPORTANTE TABATIERE EN PLACAGE DE BAMBOU, ZHUHUANG

    CHINE, ATELIERS IMPERIAUX DU PALAIS A BEIJING, CIRCA 1750-1800

    Price Realised  

    RARE ET IMPORTANTE TABATIERE EN PLACAGE DE BAMBOU, ZHUHUANG
    CHINE, ATELIERS IMPERIAUX DU PALAIS A BEIJING, CIRCA 1750-1800
    De forme balustre arrondie, entièrement ornée d'un fin placage de bambou, les deux faces aplaties rehaussées d'un décor sculpté de caractères shou disposés sur six rangées et se détachant en léger relief du fond couleur ocre, le couvercle triangulaire terminé par une petite prise ronde ; petits accidents
    Hauteur avec le bouchon: 6,4 cm. (2½ in.)


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    This bottle appears to be from a group of bamboo bottles of distinctive type, apparently developed in the Beijing Palace workshops during the late 18th century. An identical example is kept in the Palace Museum, Beijing and illustrated in Snuff Bottles - The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong 2003, pl.385. See also another bottle of identical shape but decorated with five bats surrounding a shou character, also kept in the Palace Museum Beijing and illustrated in Op. Cit., pl.384.
    These bats and shou character are also reproduced on two bamboo veneer moon-flask bottles illustrated in the catalogue of Snuff Bottles in the Collection of The National Palace Museum, Taipei 1992, nos.414 and 415, p.271.
    For a discussion of zhuhuang see Hugh Moss, Victor Graham and Ka Bo Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, The J & J Collection, vol. I, New York 1993, pp.454-455. Zhuhuang (literally 'bamboo yellow', but meaning bamboo veneer) seems to have been "developed in the Beijing Palace as an alternative method of using the ubiquitous bamboo at some time during the latter part of the Qianlong period, and to have retained its popularity into the early nineteenth century. It seems to have been inspired by furniture decoration of a type commonly found in the Beijing Palace with veneers of either the same or different woods, carved and applied to flat surfaces. No doubt it inspired non-Imperial pieces, but in this case the majority of the wares share qualities of style, taste and subject matter, which suggest that most of them were made in the Palace for the Court. The method used was to strip the interior surface of the cortex, soak and press it flat, and then use it as a veneer to completely cover whatever was the base material of the object. A second layer of veneer was then carved and imposed on the first as the main decorative element. This second layer was sometimes of a darker color. The method allowed for production of works in a range of shapes and sizes far beyond the possibilities of the natural bamboo stem and root. Zhuhuang of any kind is rare, and zhuhuang snuff bottles are no exception"

    Compare with an identical bottle sold in our New York Rooms, 2 December 1994, lot 529.
    For a similar bottle in red lacquer, see Hugh M. Moss, Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of the Rt. Hon. The Marquess of Exeter, K.C.M.G., London, 1974, p. 14, O.29

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    Pre-Lot Text

    VARIOUS PROPERTIES


    Post Lot Text

    A RARE AND IMPORTANT BAMBOO VENEER 'HUNDRED SHOU-CHARACTER' SNUFF BOTTLE, ZHUHUANG
    CHINA, BEIJING IMPERIAL PALACE WORKSHOPS, CIRCA 1750-1800