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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 229

    **AN UNUSUAL GREEN OVERLAY BROWN GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE

    ATTRIBUTED TO BEIJING, 1770-1850

    Price Realised  

    **AN UNUSUAL GREEN OVERLAY BROWN GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE
    ATTRIBUTED TO BEIJING, 1770-1850
    Of compressed form with flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a footrim, carved through the transparent green overlay to the opaque café au lait ground with a continuous design of a praying mantis on each main side, each insect beside a pair of pea pods amidst scrolling vines, coral stopper with gilt-metal collar
    2 19/32 in. (6.6 cm.) high


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    Translucent emerald-green on a brownish-beige ground appears to have been one of the more popular of the unusual combinations of glass overlay. This combination seems to have been favored in the mid-to later Qing period. See Moss, Graham and Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, no. 390 for a green glass on brown overlay bottle of similar form carved with a continuous design of the "Three Friends of Winter." See also, Moss, Graham and Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 5, Glass, no. 950, for a green overlay on blue glass snuff bottle carved with a praying mantis on a pea vine on one side and a katydid on a cabbage on the other.

    The praying mantis (tanglang) is a symbol of fertility, because of the large number of eggs it lays. The symbolism is reinforced by the second syllable (lang), which is a homonym for one of the Chinese characters meaning "son." A pea pod swollen with seeds provides another symbol of fertility.

    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 Moss Ltd.


    Exhibited

    Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.