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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 206

    **AN ENAMELED PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE

    IMPERIAL, JINGDE ZHEN KILNS, DAOGUANG FOUR-CHARACTER MARK IN IRON-RED SEAL SCRIPT AND OF THE PERIOD (1821-1850)

    Price Realised  

    **AN ENAMELED PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE
    IMPERIAL, JINGDE ZHEN KILNS, DAOGUANG FOUR-CHARACTER MARK IN IRON-RED SEAL SCRIPT AND OF THE PERIOD (1821-1850)
    Of compressed form with slightly concave lip and recessed oval foot surrounded by a footrim, painted in famille rose enamels on one side with a Manchu groom leading a bactrian camel laden with hunting rifles and a container of arrows attached to the saddle, the other side painted with a Manchu huntsman riding a piebald horse and leading a brown dog by a leash, the foot inscribed with a four-character mark in iron-red seal script reading Daoguang nian zhi (Made in the Daoguang period), turquoise stopper with silver collar
    2 17/64 in. (5.8 cm.) high


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    H. Hui and P. Lam suggest that the theme of two Manchu officials on different mounts derives from renderings of the Imperial hunting trip called Qiuli (Autumn hunting), which was instituted by the Kangxi emperor and continued into the Daoguang reign in the early nineteenth century. Between 1740 and 1745 the Qianlong emperor ordered the painters at the Royal Painting Academy to illustrate this event (see Hui and Lam, The Imperial Connection. Court Related Chinese Snuff Bottles, no. 115). There are other possible interpretations of the subject, however. The racoon dog (gouhuan, nyctereutes procyonoides) together with the camel (luotuo) make up a visual pun for the term, huanluo, meaning joy and happiness. While the officials depicted signify a bureaucratic career much aspired for by most intellectuals, several felicitous puns are hidden in other decorative elements. The dog (gou or chuan) and the horse (ma) together suggest chuanma, a term expressing loyalty. The dog and the saddle (ma'an) produce another term, anchuan, which means safety. The rifles (changqiang) stand for prosperity (changsheng). The camel (luotuo) with two humps (feng) suggests abundance and happiness (fengluo). The quiver (jiandai) conveys the hope that many generations (dai) will be blessed with all these good things.

    For other snuff bottles with Manchu equestrian imagery, see R. Kleiner, Chinese Snuff Bottles. A Miniature Art from the Collection of Mary and George Bloch, p. 211, no. 153; Snuff Bottles. The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, p. 224, no. 341, with Daoguang mark and design of a Manchu equestrian leading a dog and of a hunting scene; and another Daoguang bottle decorated with piebald horse, formerly from the J & J Collection, sold in these rooms, 25 April 2004, lot 821.

    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.