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    Sale 2026

    Important Chinese Snuff Bottles From The J&J Collection, Part V

    17 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 8



    Price Realised  


    Of well hollowed, flattened form with concave lip with incised gutter near the outer rim, and recessed, flat rounded-rectangular foot surrounded by a footrim, each main side carved in relief with a figure set in an oval, beaded frame, one, Liu Hai, with his three-legged toad, the other, showing Shi De with a besom and holding a pearl, the narrow sides with raised, scalloped, rounded-rectangular panels, coral stopper with gilt-bronze collar
    1 15/16 in. (4.92 cm.) high

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    Two features set this bottle apart from the norm: the extremely white color of the jade, flawless although with some internal flecking visible with transmitted light, and the extraordinary integrity of the ground plain, as flat and even as a mirror. The carving suggests top-quality Suzhou work, although not of the Zhiting School, but of the Zigang legacy, which found its technical peak in small plaques and other objects of the early Qing-dynasty.

    The Two Immortals of Harmony and Unity (Hehe erxian) were believed to preside over harmonious marriages, and are usually depicted carrying a lotus (he) and a box (he), both puns on their names. The Hehe erxian have a confused iconography, often becoming mixed up with the legend of Han Shan and Shi De, two famous Tang-dynasty monks (see E. Werner, A Dictionary of Chinese Mythology, p. 158), who are typically shown carrying a fan and broom respectively, and with wide grins on their faces.

    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.


    Paul Champkins, London, 14 June 2000