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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 234


    JAPAN, 1854-1920

    Price Realised  


    JAPAN, 1854-1920
    Of sectional construction, with wide mouth, convex lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a footrim, the body carved and painted with a continuous scene of fishermen in a landscape, with two figures in a houseboat, with laundry hanging on a long pole, another fisherman in a boat nearby, pulling at his net while a seated male figure plays a flute, three fishermen standing in the shallow water close to shore, bringing in their catch in baskets, a fourth boat moored close to the island, where three figures are seated, drinking and in conversation, a fourth figure nearby holding a fish on a spike, all between a modified leiwen border encircling the base and formalized chrysanthemum petals encircling the shoulder, the details colored in red and green lacquer, matching stopper with chrysanthemum petals
    2 49/64 in. (7.0 cm.) high

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    See an ivory bottle with very similar bands around the neck and base, and with an identical original stopper, in Moss, Graham and Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, no. 284. While the bottle from the J & J Collection is catalogued as being a Chinese product, more recent research by the authors has suggested it is Japanese. The Japanese produced a large range of ivory bottles after 1854 for a collectors' market in the West, a common feature of which was sectional construction, with the hollowing achieved by using a wide opening at neck or foot, and then adding a separate neck or base. In this case the neck and shoulders are a separate section. The best of these, among which this example is counted, were previously thought to have been Chinese. See an ivory snuff bottle carved with a similar design of fishermen in a landscape, in Masterpieces of Snuff Bottles in the Palace Museum, p. 176, no. 180.

    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.


    Hugh M. Moss Collection.


    Hong Kong Museum of Art, Snuff Bottles of the Ch'ing Dynasty, 1978, p. 93, no. 140.


    Hong Kong Museum of Art, "Snuff Bottles of the Ch'ing Dynasty", 20 October-3 December 1978.
    Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.