• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 290

    **A RARE GUYUE XUAN ENAMELED CARVED COLORLESS GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE

    IMPERIAL, PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, 1770-1799

    Price Realised  

    **A RARE GUYUE XUAN ENAMELED CARVED COLORLESS GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE
    IMPERIAL, PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, 1770-1799
    Of compressed form with flat lip and protruding flat foot, carved in relief with a continuous design of a pheasant standing on an ornamental rock beside pink tree peony blossoms and beneath a flowering magnolia tree, the foot inscribed in red enamel Guyue Xuan (Ancient Moon Pavilion) in regular script, tourmaline stopper with gilt-metal collar
    2 15/32 in. (6.3 cm.) high


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    This bottle is a rare colorless glass version of the classic carved-relief white glass snuff bottles which bear the mark of the Guyue Xuan, a terrace in the retirement home of the Qianlong Emperor. In 1767 the Emperor seems to have encouraged a new group of enamellers to master the art of enameling on glass at the Court, their works associated with a single terraced hall in his newly-built garden, the Jianyuan. As these enamelers mastered their art, they evolved a new style of enameling, some on a flat plane, some on carved relief designs, which became the classic Guyue Xuan wares of the second half of the Qianlong reign. The carved group most probably evolved from the single-plane group. As a rule, and in the present bottle, the double-plane wares have the main design carved in relief that is complemented by enameling on the flat ground. Another feature of top-quality Guyue Xuan relief glass is the rejection of the standard neck and base borders found on most earlier Palace enamels, allowing more space for the bold designs.

    The carved-relief examples confirm the close link between the Guyue Xuan-marked enameled wares and other carved glass wares from the Palace workshops, for they required close co-operation with an established, highly-skilled glassworks and carving facility.

    See a very similar example with identical subject matter, probably painted by the same hand, in R. Kleiner, Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Burghley House Collection, Stamford, England, 1989, fig. 61; and a second in H. Moss, Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of The Rt. Hon. The Marquess of Exeter, K.C.M.G., p. 106, fig. E.15. Another clear glass bottle molded in relief and painted in enamels with a heron or crested egret standing amidst large lotus pads, flowers and pods, formerly from the Reif and Ko Family Collections, was sold in these rooms, 18 October 1993, lot 205.

    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

    Hugh Moss Ltd.