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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 280

    **AN INSIDE-PAINTED BROWN CRYSTAL SNUFF BOTTLE

    SIGNED YE ZHONGSAN, BEIJING, DATED TO THE SUMMER OF JIACHEN YEAR, CORRESPONDING TO 1904

    Price Realised  

    **AN INSIDE-PAINTED BROWN CRYSTAL SNUFF BOTTLE
    SIGNED YE ZHONGSAN, BEIJING, DATED TO THE SUMMER OF JIACHEN YEAR, CORRESPONDING TO 1904
    Of flattened form with flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a footrim, painted with a continuous design of three equestrian Manchu warriors hunting, one in pursuit of a deer, the other about to impale what appears to be a boar with a fork-like weapon, while the third appears from behind a rock all in a snowy, mountainous landscape, the narrow sides carved with mask-and-ring handles, inscribed in draft script, Composed in the summer of the jiachen year [1904] at the Apricot Grove Studio in the Capital by Ye Zhongsan, with seal Yin, coral stopper with vinyl collar
    2 35/64 in. (6.5 cm.) high


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    In 1904 Ye Zhongsan was still working alone; the first of his sons did not join him in producing works under his name until about 1913. By 1904, however, the typical family style was already well established, with its preference for figure subjects, usually in brightly colored clothing. This is an extremely unusual subject for Ye, produced before a marked tendency to repeat subjects and compositions in a commercial manner, although he did produce other scenes of figures in snowy landscapes during this early period.

    This bottle is the only bottle out of the hundreds produced by the Ye family that names their studio in the inscription (Apricot Grove), making it a rare and documentary piece. Ye Bengqi confirmed the name of the family studio in an interview with Hugh Moss in Beijing in 1974, until then unknown to the snuff bottle enthusiast.

    See the note to lot 279 for the significance of the deer as a decorative motif and the note to lot 272 for Ye's depiction of horses on inside-painted snuff bottles.

    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

    Robert Hall, London.