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    Sale 2026

    Important Chinese Snuff Bottles From The J&J Collection, Part V

    17 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 20


    SUZHOU, 1680-1780

    Price Realised  


    SUZHOU, 1680-1780
    Of compressed form with a slightly convex lip and flat oval foot, the well-hollowed bottle carved with a continuous rocky landscape with plantains and a wutong tree, the other side with a seated scholar holding a qin on his lap, the figure seated before a rocky outcrop acting as a table upon which rests a brazier with a tea-kettle and a smoking censer, amber stopper, jadeite finial and vinyl collar
    2 in. (6.31 cm.) high

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    The high-relief carving and serrated rockwork, combined with the effective use of skin and other natural coloring of materials is a key feature of the group represented by this bottle. See Yang Boda, "Jade. Emperor Ch'ien Lung's Collection in the Palace Museum, Peking", Arts of Asia, March-April 1992, where the author states, "...that the rusted skin of the jade obtained from river beds was highlighted to enhance the beauty of the piece. For instance, in carving jade mountains, the skin part was reserved for the mountain slopes and woods while the white core was used to depict the running rivers and waterfalls." This use of natural material added interest to the carved decoration and realism to the landscapes, while avoiding wastage of the raw material. The author also discusses the Qianlong Emperor's interest in the jade market of Suzhou's Zhuanzhu Lane, the largest jade center in China. Suzhou's geographical position on the Imperial canal, combined with its gardens and canals, also led to its role as one of the main cultural centers in China. Many painters, calligraphers, poets and musicians lived in Suzhou, and their pursuits and interests form the main subject matter of the group of agate and jade snuff bottles intricately carved in a style unique to the area. Such artistic developments resulted in eighteenth-century Imperial agents scouring the area for intriguing products to satisfy an Imperial passion for novelty in art.

    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.


    Honor Smith
    Sotheby's, London, 5 December 1983, lot 285
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd.


    B. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, no. 396
    Arts of Asia, May-June 1984, p. 102, lot 285
    100 Selected Chinese Snuff Bottles from the J & J Collection, no. 92
    Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, Vol. 1, no. 21
    Arts of Asia, November-December 1995, p. 128
    Silver Kris, January 1997, p. 50, fig. 8
    The Art of Chinese Snuff Bottle, Poly Art Museum, p. 18


    Christie's, London, 1987
    Christie's, New York, 1993
    Empress Place Museum, Singapore, 1994
    Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt, 1996-1997
    Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, London, 1997
    Naples Museum of Art, Florida, 2002
    Portland Museum of Art, Oregon, 2002
    National Museum of History, Taipei, 2002
    International Asian Art Fair, Seventh Regiment Armory, New York, 2003
    Poly Art Museum, Beijing, 2003