• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 217



    Price Realised  


    Of flattened form with flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a footrim, the material of warm, orange-yellow tone, carved through the red surface on the narrow sides with sinuous chi dragons, coral stopper carved with a chi dragon, pearl finial and horn collar
    2 3/8 in. (6.0 cm.) high

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Hornbill was a valued substance to the Chinese well before snuff bottles came into fashion in the Qing dynasty. It came into its own, however, for the manufacture of Qing belt-buckles, snuff bottles, and other small objects during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Among the greatest carvers of the material was the scholarly artist known as Baishi, who signed his wares and dated two of them, establishing himself as having worked in the Daoguang period. Although many of his bottles are signed, it is also obvious that he produced unsigned works as well (see, for instance, a bottle formerly from the Meriem Collection, sold in these rooms, 19 September 2007, lot 707). Many of his signed works are carved with very similar chi dragon narrow sides, allowing the possibility that the workshop with which he was associated also made a range of plain bottles, the present example included.

    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.


    Hugh Moss Ltd.


    JICSBS, March 1978, front cover.


    Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.