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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 291



    Price Realised  


    Of compressed form with flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a footrim, the translucent milky-white glass finely decorated with famille rose enamels with a continuous garden scene with roses, bamboo and asters, one main side painted with a pair of birds, the adult clinging to a stem of bamboo and reaching towards it young, perched on an ornamental rock formation, to offer the insect trapped in its beak, a band of stylized lingzhi heads encircling the base and a formalized pendent lappet border at the neck, the foot inscribed with a probably apocryphal four-character mark in blue enamel on the base, Qianlong nian zhi (Made in the Qianlong period), gilt-metal stopper
    2 11/64 in. (5.5 cm.) high

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    This unusual painted enamel bottle does not fit incontrovertibly into any of the existing groups. The design is typical of the Palace workshops from the mid-to late-Qianlong reign, although the standard of painting is less exacting than many of the bottles from that time. These sorts of designs were copied by Ye Bengqi in Beijing during the 1930s, and again from about 1958-1962 when he was training Wang Xisan to paint with enamels, but the style is not typical of his work either. It remains possible as a work from the Palace workshops of the Qianlong Emperor, perhaps by an enameler who had not yet reached his peak, or it may be an unusual Ye bottle, perhaps when he was training in the late 1920s. Ye Bengqi was apparently not the only twentieth century enameler faking Qianlong wares, but very little is known of the style or activities of any others, so a third possibility is that it was produced by an as yet unidentified twentieth century artist. See lot 282 for an eighteenth-century bottle of very similar design. A Qianlong mark-and-period enameled glass bottle with similar subject and composition, formerly from the Reif and Albert Pyke Collections, was sold in these rooms, 18 October 1993, lot 248. See also, B. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Chinese Snuff Bottles, no. 945 for another twentieth-century bottle with similar borders and depiction of bamboo and rockwork.

    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.


    Hugh Moss Ltd., 1987.