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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 80

    **AN INSIDE-PAINTED CRYSTAL SNUFF BOTTLE

    SIGNED YE ZHONGSAN, BEIJING, DATED MID-AUTUMN IN THE BINGSHEN YEAR (1896); THE BOTTLE 1760-1896

    Price Realised  

    **AN INSIDE-PAINTED CRYSTAL SNUFF BOTTLE
    SIGNED YE ZHONGSAN, BEIJING, DATED MID-AUTUMN IN THE BINGSHEN YEAR (1896); THE BOTTLE 1760-1896
    Of flattened form with flat lip and recessed, flat oval foot surrounded by a footrim, painted with ink and watercolors with a continuous riverside landscape with willow trees, a standing Mongolian pony, and a herd-boy who uses a stick to try to retrieve his hat from the river while riding on the back of a wading buffalo, the bottle inscribed in draft script, 'Painted in mid-autumn in the year bingshen for the pure pleasure of the honorable elder brother Xingjie, at the capital by Ye Zhongsan, with seal Hua yin ('Painting seal'), coral stopper with turquoise collar
    2 in. (5.79 cm.) high


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    Ye Zhongsan began painting horses and donkeys in 1895. While he painted his chosen theme prolifically, he took pains to vary the compositions. For other examples of his early work, see H. Moss, Snuff Bottles of China, nos. 383 and 384; and Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, Vol. 2, no. 521, for a bottle painted with the Eight Horses of Mu Wang.

    This seal of the artist, Huayin, appears only on his works from the early years. After 1900 he no longer used it, reverting to the simple yin ('seal') which continued in use by the family into the mid-twentieth century.

    Horses symbolize men of talent because the character jun ('steed') is a homonym for the word meaning 'a talented man.' The motif conveys the wish, 'May you be one of the talented people.'

    The subject of a boy riding a buffalo is also found in overlay glass, chalcedony and porcelain. The subject can be traced back to the Southern Song dynasty, and was particularly popular with the Ye family. This particular image is based on one of two versions of the subject by Zhou Leyuan. Between 1895 and 1900, Ye produced some of his greatest works, mostly in the style of Zhou Leyuan.

    See other variations on this subject by Ye Zhongsand illustrated by Robert Hall, Chinese Snuff Bottles, no. 81, dated 1916; Robert Hall, Chinese Snuff Bottles IV, no. 59; H. Moss, "The Apricot Grove Studio", JICSBS, Autumn 1982, p. 15, figs. 18, 22a, 23a and 44a; and Zhongguo Biyanhu Zhenshang (Gems of Chinese Snuff Bottles), no. 351. This was clearly a group of closely related subject favored by Ye.

    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 M. Moss Ltd.
    Joan Wasserman
    Hugh M. Moss Ltd.


    Literature

    The Snuff Bottle Collector, January 1973, p. 16, no. 1
    JICSBS, Autumn 1982, p. 19, figs. 33 and 33a
    Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, Vol. 2, no. 432


    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