• Sale 1934

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles

    19 September 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 678

    **A CARVED AMETHYST SNUFF BOTTLE

    1750-1850

    Price Realised  

    **A CARVED AMETHYST SNUFF BOTTLE
    1750-1850
    Of compressed ovoid form with concave lip and recessed oval foot surrounded by a footrim, the narrow sides crisply carved with mask-and-ring handles, the translucent stone of pale purple color suffused with vapor-like inclusions, stained green chalcedony stopper with gilt-silver collar
    2¼ in. (5.7 cm.) high


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    See a slightly larger, but otherwise very similar bottle, Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, no. 102. Crystalline quartz, whether colorless or of this amethyst variety, is sometimes found with a delicate network of markings resembling cracked ice or sea-spray. These appear here, and are found on other bottles of the same group (Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, nos. 95 and 96).

    The Chinese, with their passion for natural materials would have seen these "flaws" as inspiration for design and once filled with snuff, the inclusions would become more distinct, creating an abstract work of art.

    Provenance

    Edmund Dwyer Collection.
    Robert Hall-Jutheau Auction, International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society Convention, Boston, 1991, lot 20.


    Literature

    In Focus, a publication of the American Gemological Institute of America Alumni Association, Winter 1985/86, front cover.