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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 261

    **A VERY RARE AND UNUSUAL GUANGZHOU ENAMEL SNUFF BOTTLE

    IMPERIAL, GUANGZHOU, YONGZHENG FOUR-CHARACTER MARK IN BROWN ENAMEL AND OF THE PERIOD (1723-1735)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    **A VERY RARE AND UNUSUAL GUANGZHOU ENAMEL SNUFF BOTTLE
    IMPERIAL, GUANGZHOU, YONGZHENG FOUR-CHARACTER MARK IN BROWN ENAMEL AND OF THE PERIOD (1723-1735)
    Of flattened shape with flat lip and concave foot surrounded by a footrim, finely painted in famille rose colors on a yellow ground with formal scrolling flowers and vines and a circular medallion of the character shou (longevity) between a bat and stylized lotus blossom, the neck and base enameled with bands of formalized lotus petals, the base inscribed Yongzheng nian zhi (Made in the Yongzheng period) in black enamel, gilt-metal stopper
    3 31/64 in. (8.9 cm.) high


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    Although the subject of formalized flowers on a yellow ground was common to both the Palace workshops at Beijing and on Guangzhou wares for the court, the style was generally different. The standard northern style tended to be simpler and more powerful, while its southern counterpart was more complex and ornate, often using a greater range of filling colors within outlined areas, such as scrolling vines and leaves. Like the snuff bottle in lot 212, this bottle exhibits the Guangzhou tendency to elaborate on Beijing decorative motifs in a novel manner.

    The lotus is a symbol of harmony in marriage as well as a Buddhist symbol of purity as the perfect flower emerges from mud and murky waters. The overlapped lotus petals used as decorative borders here are derived from the bases of Buddhist sculptures from the sixth century onwards which are usually surrounded by a series of registers of petals opening up to the Buddha or other Buddhist figure seated above. The bat (fu) forms one of the most popular rebuses in Chinese art as it is a pun on the word for "blessings."

    See the note to lot 212 for a discussion of this group of enameled snuff bottles made for the court at Guangzhou, and where a similar example with a Yongzheng mark in black enamel is noted (V. Jutheau, Guide du Collectionneur de Tabatières Chinoises, p. 55). An unmarked example with a stylized petal motif on its foot, also with similar painted decoration is illustrated by Moss, Graham and Tsang, in The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, no. 181.

    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.


    Exhibited

    Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.