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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 61



    Price Realised  


    Of compressed form with convex lip and recessed, flat oval foot surrounded by a footrim, painted with famille rose enamels on one main side with a woman and child in an interior setting, the child holding a musical chime, the side with an inscription reading 'On opening the doors [I behold] how pretty the maiden is', the other main side with the woman looking in a mirror and adjusting a flower in her hair and inscribed 'Enjoying the children every day [is also] a blissful way of life', the narrow sides painted with formalized floral motifs, separated at the shoulders by a band of formalized pendent lingzhi heads, the foot inscribed with an apocryphal mark Qianlong nian zhi ('Made in the Qianlong period') in blue enameled seal script, enameled porcelain stopper with integral collar, probably original
    2 in. (5.79 cm.) high

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    See lot 86 for a similarly decorated Qianlong mark-and-period Beijing enameled metal snuff bottle made at the Palace Workshops, a likely source of inspiration for the present lot, although the images are reversed.

    Other bottles from this group are illustrated in B. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, nos. 285, 286 and 297; in Pi Yen Hu. The Chinese Snuff Bottle, exhibition catalogue cover; Sotheby's London, 23 March 1988, lot 406; Christie's, Hong Kong, 2 October 1991, lots 1148 and 1151; and discussed by E. Curtis, "Comparisons", JICSBS, Autumn 1989, pp. 20-22.

    The enamels and style suggest a date some time after demand for Palace-style enamels was fuelled by their appearance on the market after the sacking of the Summer Palace in 1860, but before the Second World War. They are commensurate in style with a wide range of wares made at that time copying directly from Palace originals. There is no evidence of this type of enameled porcelain having been made as snuff bottles from the Qianlong period. While decorated in the Palace style, the mark, with the reverse 'S' element in the character Qian is in a script and style derived from late-eighteenth-century Jingdezhen wares, representing typical stylistic confusion on the part of the makers of late-Qing and Republican fakes. The inscriptions are also a latter addition and do not appear on the eighteenth-century originals. Further evidence for a late-nineteenth-century date is the reversed image. This appears to have been a response to the European demand for pairs, as collectors of the period were fond of displaying things in cabinets where pairs could be balanced against each other.

    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 M. Moss Ltd.
    Irving Lindzon
    Christie's, London, 12 October 1987, lot 302


    JICSBS, Autumn 1989, p. 22, fig. 7
    Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, Vol. 1, no. 225


    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