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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 69


    FUZHOU, 1800-1920

    Price Realised  


    FUZHOU, 1800-1920
    Of compressed pear shape with a flat lip and flat oval foot, carved in relief with a continuous scene of a Manchurian pheasant in the branches of a flowering magnolia tree on one main side and on the other with a fenghuang perched on one leg near a rocky promontory beside a flowering tree peony, painted in green lacquer except for the lip, interior and flat foot which are in brownish-black, blue quartz stopper with plastic collar
    2 in. (5.99 cm.) high

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    Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian province, has long had a well-established arts and crafts industry producing a variety of wares, among them a famous, local lacquerware which flourished during the mid- to late-Qing period and is characterized by its light weight and extensive use of monochrome colors. Fuzhou lacquer is a painted rather than carved lacquer. Any carving tends to be done in wood first, and then covered with lacquer, rather than, as with cinnabar lacquer, carving a considerable thickness of the lacquer itself. The lightness of the material has given rise to the belief that Fuzhou lacquer was mostly built up on a silk, or other textile ground rather than metal or wood, the two standard surfaces for lacquerers. This may be the case in some wares, but there seems little evidence of it in extant pieces where, when it is possible to check the underlying material, it tends to be a very light wood, similar to balsa-wood. Fuzhou snuff bottles are known bearing credible, late-Qianlong reign marks, suggesting production for the Court in the last part of the reign, but the art seems to have flourished during the later Qing dynasty. It is likely that production of snuff bottles began to fall off after around 1900, with the gradual replacement of snuff by smoking tobacco, and the political upheavals that racked China from 1911 to 1949.

    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.


    Edith Griswold Collection
    Sotheby's, New York, 1 June 1994, lot 700