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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 262

    **A CARVED SPINACH-GREEN JADE SNUFF BOTTLE AND A CARVED BROWN CRYSTAL SNUFF BOTTLE

    1750-1860

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    **A CARVED SPINACH-GREEN JADE SNUFF BOTTLE AND A CARVED BROWN CRYSTAL SNUFF BOTTLE
    1750-1860
    The compressed jade bottle with flat lip and oval foot surrounded by a footrim, carved on the narrow sides with mask-and-ring handles, coral stopper with mother-of-pearl finial and vinyl collar; the brown crystal bottle of compressed form with slightly concave lip and recessed oval foot surrounded by a footrim, carved on one main side with a pavilion nestled beneath pine and prunus trees with mountains in the distance, the design continuing on the other main side with bamboo growing in a rocky landscape, green jadeite stopper with silver collar;
    2¾ in. (7.0 cm.) and 2 5/64 in. (5.3 cm.) high respectively (2)


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    Spinach-green nephrite has been found in boulder form in the riverbeds of Turkestan for centuries, mostly of a subdued color with some darker flecking. During the mid-Qing period, with the conquest of the area in 1759 and its renaming as a province of China (Xinjiang), mined material was also available to the court in much greater quantities. The mined material is characterized by a darker, more evenly green color with more pronounced, darker speckling. See Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 1, Jade, no. 72 for a discussion on the sources of the material.

    The crystal bottle is one of a group of carved crystal and amethyst bottles with a distinctive style of carving. Moss, Graham and Tsang illustrate a quartz example they attribute to a source they name the "School of the Rustic Crystal Master," in A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 2, Quartz, no. 254. For a broad survey, see H. Moss, Chinese Snuff Bottles of the Silica or Quartz Group, pp. 23-34; and L. Perry, Chinese Snuff Bottles. The Adventures and Studies of a Collector, no. 30.

    The "Rustic Crystal Master" school may have been located in Fujian province, where crystal was carved as early as the beginning of the 18th century. Fujian was famous for its raw quartzite, so it was a natural departure for the local artisans to meet the challenge of carving it. Typically, the bottles are worked in low relief with a continuous landscape made up of a series of elements rendered in a painterly style. See Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 2, Quartz, nos. 255-57 for other 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.


    Provenance

    Potter's Gallery, Vancouver.