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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 226


    YIXING, 1790-1840

    Price Realised  


    YIXING, 1790-1840
    The eight-lobed form with a flat lip and recessed foot surrounded by a footrim, the bottle finely decorated with a continuous landscape of a pavilion nestled amidst pine trees and towering rocky cliffs, a fisherman in his boat traveling in the distance, the foreground with a scholar holding a staff and his attendant carrying his qin, the two figures standing within a garden with rockwork and pine trees as they look up at the sun, coral stopper with gilt-metal collar
    2 29/64 in. (6.2 cm.) high

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    Yixing in Jiangsu province to the west of Shanghai is associated with a distinctive stoneware called "purple clay." The unglazed, fired clay is usually purplish-brown, but its color can vary from pale beige to brown to green. Yixing ware has been produced for nearly a thousand years in the same place, but came to aesthetic prominence only in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (during the late Ming dynasty), when the scholar class found it a suitable material for teapots and other table articles.

    Yixing snuff bottles are often left plain but examples exist with decoration painted in slip, carved or enameled. The enameled versions derive their subject matter from the rivers, lakes and mountains of the Jiangnan (South of the River) area around Yixing that inspired the works of so many literati living there. Although the style is different, the themes of the enameled wares relate to those decorated with slip designs, such as those illustrated by Moss, Graham and Tsang, in The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, nos. 253-55; B. Stevens, in A Collector's Book of Chinese Snuff Bottles, nos. 338 and 339; and L.S. Perry, in Chinese Snuff Bottles. The Adventures and Studies of a Collector, p. 77, no. 51. A very similar bottle, formerly from the Meriem Collection, was sold in these rooms, 19 September 2007, lot 641.

    The faceted form of the present bottle was no doubt influenced by contemporary faceted vessels that were being produced at the Palace workshops.

    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 Moss Ltd.


    Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.