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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 84

    AN INSIDE-PAINTED CRYSTAL SNUFF BOTTLE

    YE FAMILY, APRICOT GROVE STUDIO, BEIJING, DATED SECOND MONTH OF THE XINYOU YEAR (1921)

    Price Realised  

    AN INSIDE-PAINTED CRYSTAL SNUFF BOTTLE
    YE FAMILY, APRICOT GROVE STUDIO, BEIJING, DATED SECOND MONTH OF THE XINYOU YEAR (1921)
    Of compressed form with flat lip and recessed, flat oval foot surrounded by a footrim, painted in ink and watercolors with a continuous scene of fifty-four boys playing a variety of games in a garden setting, inscribed in draft script 'Made in the second month of the year xinyou by Ye Zhongsan, with seal Yin ('Seal'), quartz stopper with silver collar
    2 5/8 in. (6.67 cm.) high


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    This extremely unusual bottle was painted by a member of the Ye family, and almost certainly by Ye Zhongsan himself, although in 1913 Ye was joined in his studio by his eldest son, Ye Bengzhen, and shortly thereafter by Ye Xiaofeng. According to Wang Xisan, it was Ye himself who painted the series of bottles with many boys (sometimes depicting one hundred, sometimes less). See Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 4, Inside Painted, no. 645, for a discussion on Ye Zhongsan and his sons.

    Ye began painting his well-known small group of children playing in 1896 and continued to do so throughout his career. The far more complex designs representing the famous story of one hundred boys, however, were produced far less frequently. Both subjects convey a desire for male progeny, and carry a blessing for abundant descendents. The subject is commonly referred to as 'One Hundred Boys' regardless of the actual number of children involved. For other examples of the same subject by Ye Zhongsan, see B. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, no. 923, Christie's, London, 10 May 1976, lot 16; Sotheby's, London, 2 July 1984, lot 112 and JICSBS, Spring 1984, p. 53, fig. 47. As discussed in the footnote to lot 68, Ye Zhongsan's mature style displayed attention to detail and color, as seen on this bottle.

    Provenance

    Hugh M. Moss Ltd.
    Irving Lindzon
    Christie's, London, 12 October 1987, lot 323


    Literature

    Christie's International Magazine, September-October 1987, p. 29
    Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, Vol. 2, no. 439
    The Miniature World - An Exhibition of Snuff Bottles from The J & J Collection, p. 75
    The Art of Chinese Snuff Bottle, Poly Art Museum, p. 137


    Exhibited

    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