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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 278

    **A RARE AND UNUSUAL SOAPSTONE SNUFF BOTTLE

    1730-1850

    Price Realised  

    **A RARE AND UNUSUAL SOAPSTONE SNUFF BOTTLE
    1730-1850
    Of flattened form with flat lip and recessed foot surrounded by a flat footrim, the stone of variegated orange-yellow tone with deeper orange flushes, jadeite stopper with vinyl collar
    1 63/64 in. (5.0 cm.) high


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    Soapstone (talc, also known as steatite), is among the softest of stones used by Chinese carvers and is workable directly with a metal blade while much harder materials require lapidary work. It was mined in various parts of the empire and was found in a range of often spectacular colors. The most sought-after stones were those with attractive coloring and with a translucence that revealed inner texture, as in the present material. The most precious of all soapstone is known as tianhuang (field yellow), from Fujian province, which resembles the present material in color and texture, but is mined in a different part of the country.

    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

    Fox's, St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco.