• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5931

    The Sunday Sale Including the Property of the Late Audrey Burton O.B.E.

    31 May 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 118

    A GROUP OF FOUR CHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES

    19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GROUP OF FOUR CHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES
    19TH CENTURY
    Comprising a transluscent rock crystal bottle, carved in relief to the exterior with a carp rising out of foaming waters, wood stand; a carved agate bottle, depicting a caparisioned elephant carved in high relief; a pudding stone bottle; and a glass overlay bottle with a black carp on an opaque blue ground
    Rock crystal bottle, 3¼in. (8.2cm.) high, wood stand, three with stoppers. (4)


    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

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse at the close of business on the day of sale - 2 weeks free storage


    Provenance

    The rock crystal example -- Frank H. Fulford Collection.
    The agate bottle -- with John Sparks.
    The pudding stone example -- with Sydney L. Moss.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of the Late Audrey Burton, O.B.E., Sold by Order of the Executors

    Stanley Burton was born in 1914, the eldest son of Sir Montague (1885-1952) whose Burton manufacturing and retailing business became one of Britain's best known and by the time of Montague's death in 1952 was the largest multiple tailor in the world. In the same year, Stanley Burton was elected a member of the University of Leeds Council and was thus well placed to know of the University's hopes, ambitions and needs. Not much escaped his attention and for nearly half a century he was one of its greatest friends and benefactors.

    Perhaps the greatest of Stanley's many acts of generosity was his unfailing support and encouragement of the visual arts. Leeds College of Art was a leading force in the reappraisal of art education in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s, pioneering new ways of teaching. The University was one of the first to employ working artists in its Fine Art department, integrating studio practise and art historical studies. Quentin Bell, son of Vanessa, who came to Leeds in 1959 as Head of Fine Art, set about reviving the University's Art Treasures Committee and invited Stanley Burton to join. Between 1965 and 1967 there was a remarkable number of acquisitions, many underwritten by Stanley's 'anonymous' donations. He would offer funds and suggest particular artists, leaving the University to make the final choice.

    In 1970, Stanley helped to establish the University Art Gallery and up to the end of his life, continued to suggest possible acquisitions which he was willing to fund. Much of what he bought for the University, or suggested to them that they might like to buy, came from exhibitions or galleries that he and Audrey had visited, or purchased from, together. They were frequent customers at the Waddington Galleries, Crane Kalman and Arthur Tooth in London, as well as at Sarah Gilchrist's Leeds gallery and many others at home and abroad.

    After Stanley's death in 1991, Audrey's interest in the University Art Gallery continued, and before her death in August 2008, she gave the art collection one of the greatest gifts of all - a dedicated space, with all its needs provided by specialist facilities. She wanted to see more of the collection on permanent display, that its richness might be appreciated and that its potential for education as well as enjoyment might be accessible to all. Transformed and enhanced, the gallery was re-launched as The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery in March 2008.

    Christie's South Kensington are delighted to offer property from this distinguished Collection.

    We are grateful to Dr. Hilary Diaper, Keeper, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds and to Sir Nicholas Brooksbank for preparing this introduction.