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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 300

    **AN INSIDE-PAINTED GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE

    SIGNED MA SHAOXUAN, BEIJING, DATED SPRING MONTH IN THE WUXU YEAR, CORRESPONDING TO 1898

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    **AN INSIDE-PAINTED GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE
    SIGNED MA SHAOXUAN, BEIJING, DATED SPRING MONTH IN THE WUXU YEAR, CORRESPONDING TO 1898
    Of flattened form with flat lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a foot rim, painted on one main side with a gibbon seated on the gnarled trunk of a pine, gazing at wasps flying around their nest, with four-character inscription, daidai fenghou (A nobleman's rank for every generation) and seal, Shao the reverse inscribed in regular script with poem and date Spring day of the wuxu year [1898], followed by the signature "Composed at the Capital by Ma Shaoxuan," stained agate stopper with integral finial
    2 29/64 in. (6.2 cm.) high


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    The poem may be translated as:

    The green river, red leaves and the veiled mountain are showing signs of autumn;
    One feels free under the howling moon and whispering wind;
    I was repeatedly sober, then drunk, on the boat today;
    A rank at last after a decade under the deep sea.

    The monkey (hou) and wasps (feng) form the rebus, daidai fenghou (A nobleman's rank for every generation), which is reinforced by the adjacent four-character inscription.

    While the bottle bears Ma Shaoxuan's signature, both his elder brother and his nephew, Ma Shaoxian, worked with him and often produced works under his name. Further research is needed to distinguish between the three different hands at present, but a range of his more standard, decorative works may have come from the hands of his studio assistants. See Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, nos. 579 and 626, for a discussion of Ma Shaoxuan's career.

    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

    Fox's, St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco.