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    Sale 2026

    Important Chinese Snuff Bottles From The J&J Collection, Part V

    17 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 28

    **A CARVED AGATE JUJUBE-FORM SNUFF BOTTLE

    1740-1830

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    **A CARVED AGATE JUJUBE-FORM SNUFF BOTTLE
    1740-1830
    With a concave oval foot, the surface on one side carved in high relief with three peanuts using the yellow-ochre coloring of one plane as a cameo relief, jadeite stopper with gilt-metal collar
    2¼ in. (5.72 cm.) high


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    This charming bottle belongs to a group of bottles of naturalistic forms, mostly carved from this sort of distinctive chalcedony, which has been tentatively attributed to the Official School (see Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 2, Quartz, no. 258, and the several subsequent examples which are all attributed to the school).

    In Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, p. 70 and 76, Terese Tse Bartholomew illustrates a drawing of another snuff bottle which she attributes to Suzhou. She explains that the jujube (zaozi) is a pun for 'early son' and the peanut (huasheng) is a pun for 'giving birth.' The combination of the two suggests the expression, 'May you soon give birth to a distinguished son' (zaosheng guizi).

    Bartholomew further explains:
    "The peanut plant (Arachis hypogaea) has a massive root system and bears many seedpods, or peanuts. Thus it symbolizes long life and many sons. The peanut is also called chuangsheng guo, or the fruit of longevity. Along with jujubes and chestnuts, it is among the dried fruit and nuts scattered on the marriage bed to wish the new couple the speedy arrival of sons."

    Another very similar jujube-form agate bottle carved with peanuts is in the Palace Museum, Beijing and is illustrated in Snuff Bottles. The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, p. 165, no. 255.

    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

    Sotheby's, New York, 17 March 1997, lot 153
    Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd.