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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 269


    JINGDE ZHEN KILNS, 1790-1840

    Price Realised  


    JINGDE ZHEN KILNS, 1790-1840
    Of formalized melon form with wide mouth, convex lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a footrim, the six melon-like lobes finely painted in underglaze blue with leafy fruiting melon vines and covered by a transparent glaze with slight crackle, lapis lazuli stopper with vinyl collar
    2 37/64 in. (6.5 cm.) high

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    Melons appear as a decorative element on underglaze blue-decorated porcelain as early as the Yuan dynasty. They are regarded as auspicious symbols of abundant progeny because of their many seeds, and because guadie (literally, "melon and newly forming melon") is taken to mean "spreading like melon vines," implying many offspring. The melon-like lobed sides of the bottle reinforce the auspicious imagery.
    This form and design became popular in snuff bottles in the mid-Qing period, most of which were produced in the first half of the nineteenth century. They often bear apocryphal Yongzheng reign marks (which began to come into vogue for a growing collectors' market during the Daoguang period), but rarely one finds them without a reign mark, as here, and the style of the drawing and of the underglaze painting may indicate that this example pre-dates this production and probably comes from the very late Qianlong, or Jiaqing reign.

    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.


    John Ford, Baltimore.