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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 222

    **A RARE BLUE JADEITE SNUFF BOTTLE

    1770-1830

    Price Realised  

    **A RARE BLUE JADEITE SNUFF BOTTLE
    1770-1830
    Of compressed form with slightly concave lip and recessed concave oval foot, the stone of even, pale bluish-grey tone, tourmaline stopper
    2 5/64 in. (5.3 cm.) high


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    A select group of jadeite bottles of blue, lilac or lavender coloring exists among a range of extremely well-hollowed nephrite and jadeite snuff bottles made during the mid-Qing period, probably at, or for, the Court. Jadeite fascinated the Qianlong emperor and became an obsession with him, leading to disastrous attempts to invade Burma and bring the jadeite mines under Chinese control. Although this soured relations and official trade, demand from the Court assured that the stone reached the Court lapidaries. Although the majority of bright blue, lilac and lavender jadeite was discovered and carved in the later-Qing period, occasionally, these rare colors were sent to China during the mid-Qing period. This remarkable example combines rare grey-blue coloring, an well-known early form, and a well-hollowed interior typical of the mid-Qing period.

    See Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 1, Jade, no. 175, for a very similar blue jadeite snuff bottle; one in the exhibition catalogue, Snuff Bottles of the Ch'ing Dynasty, Hong Kong Museum of Art, p. 104, no. 174 (also illustrated in B. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Chinese Snuff Bottles, no. 1009); and another in Moss, Graham and Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, no. 61. A faceted example is illustrated by D. Low, in More Treasures from the Sanctum of Enlightened Respect, p. 76, no. 70, where it is posited that well-known series of such bottles may have been carved from the same piece of stone.

    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.