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    Sale 11786

    The Ruth and Carl Barron Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles: Part II

    16 March 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 536

    A CARVED PINK AND GREEN OVERLAY WHITE GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE

    1770-1850

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A CARVED PINK AND GREEN OVERLAY WHITE GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE
    1770-1850
    The flattened bottle is decorated on both sides with a blossoming pink begonia plant with lush green leaves.
    2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm.) high, hardstone stopper


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    The begonia (qiuhaitang) has long been an esteemed garden plant in China, often planted on rockwork and used as ground-cover in small areas of shade. It is associated with feminine qualities because of its preference for cool, shady places, and there is a legend that a spot watered by the tears of a woman deserted by her lover suddenly sprouted begonias to console her.

    The sound tang in the name of the begonia (qiuhaitang) was probably intended to evoke the idiomatic expression yutang fugui ("[May your] magnificent hall [be filled with] riches"). The begonia is commonly linked to the magnolia (yulan) to elicit the sound of the first half of this expression. The peony, "the king of flowers," represents prosperity, and is associated with the upper classes of society.

    Provenance

    Jean Gellis, Paris.
    Christie's Paris, 21 December 2009, lot 212.
    Ruth and Carl Barron Collection, Belmont, Massachusetts, no. 5047.