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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 221


    OFFICIAL SCHOOL, 1780-1860

    Price Realised  


    OFFICIAL SCHOOL, 1780-1860
    Of flattened form with concave lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a footrim, carved through the natural brown inclusion on one side with an eagle standing on one leg on a large rock beneath a tree and the sun, the other main side undecorated, coral stopper with stained ivory collar
    2 13/32 in. (6.1 cm.) high

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    The motif of an eagle standing on one leg, with sun and pine tree imparts several symbolic meanings. An eagle (ying) perched on one leg (duli) is a rebus for the phrase yingxiong duli (A great man towers over his peers). The imagery evokes ideals of courage, loyalty and the ability to achieve great things. The combination of an eagle and a pine tree conveys a wish that such a great man will live a long life.

    For a similar silhouette agate bottle with an eagle, see R. Holden, Rivers and Mountains Far From the World. The Rachelle R. Holden Collection, no. 35. For a discussion on the Official School of hardstone carving, see Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 2, Quartz, no. 258, with numerous examples.

    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.


    Potter's Gallery, Vancouver.


    Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.