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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 274

    **A BROWN OVERLAY WHITE GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE

    LI JUNTING SCHOOL, ATTRIBUTED TO YANGZHOU, 1805-1840

    Price Realised  

    **A BROWN OVERLAY WHITE GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE
    LI JUNTING SCHOOL, ATTRIBUTED TO YANGZHOU, 1805-1840
    Of compressed form with flat lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a footrim, well carved through the opaque brown layer on one main side with a cat crouching beside a shrub and pot of flowering chrysanthemums, fixing its gaze on two butterflies flying to the right of a three-character inscription in seal script reading renzhe shou (The benelovent will live a long life), the other main side with four geese and waterside reeds, one flying down to join three others at the shore, the narrow sides with mask and elongated-oval ring handles, jadeite stopper with carnelian collar
    2 9/32 in. (5.8 cm.) high


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    The inscription is taken from Confucius's Analects expounding on the didactics in nurturing Man's outlook on life.

    The cat and butterflies represent a wish for longevity, the word "cat" (mao) having the same sound as the Chinese word for "septuagenarian," while the word "butterfly" (die) is homophonous with "septuagenarian" or "octogenarian." The wish for longevity is reinforced by the rock and chrysanthemum, symbols of long life.

    This subject of numerous geese and reedy banks was popular in paintings from the Song dynasty onwards, and may represent autumn, particularly in combination with chrysanthemums (representing the ninth month).

    See Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, no. 1026 for an olive-green overlay white glass snuff bottle attributed to Li Junting, also carved with a cat and butterflies.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Provenance

    Robert Hall, London.