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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 23

    **A RARE AND UNUSUAL ENAMELED PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE

    IMPERIAL, JINGDEZHEN IMPERIAL KILNS, QIANLONG FOUR-CHARACTER SEAL MARK IN IRON-RED AND OF THE PERIOD, 1780-1799

    Price Realised  

    **A RARE AND UNUSUAL ENAMELED PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE
    IMPERIAL, JINGDEZHEN IMPERIAL KILNS, QIANLONG FOUR-CHARACTER SEAL MARK IN IRON-RED AND OF THE PERIOD, 1780-1799
    Of compressed spherical form with flat lip and recessed, flat, rounded-rectangular foot surrounded by a footrim, the two main sides with convex circular panels painted with European subjects, one with a bearded man in a turban seated with a small white dog in his lap, with a building with an arch in the background, and the other with a red-haired woman in white, pink and blue dress with her left arm extended and holding a small black and white dog on her knee, the surrounds molded with a formalized floral design and covered with gold enamel, the foot inscribed Qianlong nian zhi ('Made during the Qianlong period') in iron-red seal script, gilt-metal stopper with integral finial and collar, decorated with a floral blossom
    2 in. (5.2 cm.) high


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    See two related examples with green-enameled surrounds: one in the Imperial Collection is illustrated in Snuff Bottles. The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, no. 320, while the second is illustrated in B. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, no. 950. The gold ground on this lot is in imitation of the gilt-metal surrounds on Beijing enamel snuff bottles, while the green-enameled surrounds imitate the enameled copper examples.

    The type of reign-mark, with the reversed 'S' element in the lower left quadrant of the character Qian is known to have been used very late in the Qianlong period - possibly even as late as the period between the Emperor's abdication and his death in 1799, since it has been suggested that this strange reversal of a well-established format for writing the character in seal script may indicate the continued use of the Qianlong reign title while his successor was on the throne and producing other wares under his own reign title, Jiaqing.

    As a genuine example of the late-Qianlong period, this would fit in comfortably with a revival in interest at the Palace workshops of these European subjects (see Sotheby's, New York, 23 March 2002, lot 435, where a bottle previously considered to come from Guangzhou is re-established as a late-Qianlong, Beijing product and others are cited). This late Beijing group was inspired by the early-Qianlong Guangzhou style, including turbaned men and topless women. The present lot appears to have a southern-style design on a Jingdezhen porcelain bottle, suggesting that it was probably painted at the Imperial kilns after a Guangzhou original.

    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

    China Guardian, Beijing, 27 October 1999, lot 1088
    Wang Ning, Beijing, 1999


    Exhibited

    Christie's, Los Angeles, 2003