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    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 260



    Price Realised  


    Of octagonal form with flat lip and recessed, slightly convex foot surrounded by a footrim, each vertical facet separated by shallow grooves, the flat shoulder rising to a rounded step encircling the base of the neck, the upper neck with a protruding rim, sapphire, glass, coral and amethyst stopper
    2 51/64 in. (7.1 cm.) high

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    Jet is a tough, compact black form of lignite, or brown coal, and is produced by plant decomposition and fossilization. It is lightweight and takes a very high surface polish. It is also soft enough to carve directly with a metal blade, bringing it within the range of possible materials for the scholar-carver to express his own artistry with the "iron-brush" of the seal-carver. Jet was also an appealing material because of its association with longevity, since one popular Chinese misconception was that it took amber a thousand years to form, and that after a thousand more amber became jet. Its relative rarity prompted imitations in lacquer or black glass.

    The faceted design reflects the popularity of faceting at the court, introduced by the Bavarian Jesuit Kilian Stumpf in the late-seventeenth century and used to decorate a wide range of Imperial snuff bottles during the Qing dynasty.

    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.


    Potter's Gallery, Vancouver.