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    Sale 11786

    The Ruth and Carl Barron Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles: Part II

    16 March 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 592

    A RARE 'CHICKEN BONE' JADE SNUFF BOTTLE

    PROBABLY IMPERIAL, 1750-1820

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE 'CHICKEN BONE' JADE SNUFF BOTTLE
    PROBABLY IMPERIAL, 1750-1820
    The bottle is delicately incised on both sides using the natural patterns of the opaque cream and tan-colored stone in the composition. One side shows a tall vertical rock with blossoming orchids projecting from its edges, with a calligraphic inscription describing the flowers along with the seal yun ('cloud'). The reverse is carved with a gnarled and blossoming plum tree flanked by rocks, and with an inscription in the reserve about the plum blossoms containing the seal pian and yue ('piece of the moon').
    2 3/8 in. (6 cm.) high, glass stopper


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    The distinct color and texture of this jade, often called calcified or 'chicken-bone' jade, was probably induced by subjecting the nephrite to very high temperature, resulting in the distinctive and attractive appearance. This may represent an attempt to imitate the opaque grey and beige patina acquired by nephrite articles excavated from ancient tombs that had been transformed during the centuries in the damp earth.

    For two famous examples of chicken-bone jade from the Stevens and McReynolds Collections, see B. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, New York, 1976, pp. 114-115. nos. 365 and 382.

    Provenance

    Vanessa F. Holden Collection, New York, 1997.
    Ruth and Carl Barron Collection, Belmont, Massachusetts, no. 2544.