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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 25

    **AN UNUSUAL GREENISH-WHITE JADE SNUFF BOTTLE

    IMPERIAL, PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, 1730-1800

    Price Realised  

    **AN UNUSUAL GREENISH-WHITE JADE SNUFF BOTTLE
    IMPERIAL, PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, 1730-1800
    Carved in the form of a bat with a flat lip, the wings spread forming two loops for a suspension cord, the lip carved as a coin, with the sun and the crescent moon flanking a central square, the naturalistic head of the bat set beside the neck of the bottle, its wings carved with low-relief archaistic motifs and with a leiwen border, its back with formalized clouds, lingzhi-heads and flames, with a second, naturalistic bat carved in relief on the upper body, jade bat-form stopper, possibly original
    2 in. (5.32 cm.) high


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    Several features suggest that this is probably an Imperial bottle, including the archaistic decoration, the eccentric shape, the flat, upper neck-rim and the fact that it is designed to be suspended - a feature of some known Palace bottles which often have loops around the neck for suspension cords. Conceptually it is unique, although there is a Qianlong Palace glass bottle which may be related, with a fenghuang instead of a bat (Robert Hall, March 2003). According to Cammann, the combination of the large and small bats (fu) imply a wish for happiness in large and small things. In addition, the design of a cash (with its rounded profile and square central hole) on the lip, with the sun and moon (possibly also implying happiness day and night) create an impression of the character ji (auspicious), while the archaistic clouds (yun) combined with the bat (fu) stand for fuyun, which conveys the same hope for good fortune. The leiwen design, being continuous, represents the continuity of the family line, a pressing desire in Confucian society.

    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

    Mrs. Roy E. Tomlinson, Montclair, New Jersey
    The Montclair Art Museum, (Accession no. 66.104.3, 1966)
    Sotheby's, New York, 23 September 1995, lot 81
    Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd.


    Literature

    S. Cammann, Miniature Art From Old China. Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Montclair Art Museum Collections, 1982, no. 189.
    C. Chu, "The J & J Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles", Oriental Art, Vol. XLIX, no. 2 (2003), p. 65


    Exhibited

    Christie's, Los Angeles, 2003