• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1977

    The Meriem Collection Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II

    19 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 303

    **TWO BLUE AND WHITE SNUFF BOTTLES

    JINGDE ZHEN KILNS, 1820-1880

    Price Realised  

    **TWO BLUE AND WHITE SNUFF BOTTLES
    JINGDE ZHEN KILNS, 1820-1880
    One of tapering cylindrical form with flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a footrim, painted in underglaze blue with all-over lotus scroll, against a cream-colored ground applied with a colorless glaze with faint crackle, the neck encircled by a floral border, apocryphal Yongzheng six-character mark in underglaze blue on the base, coral stopper with mother-of-pearl finial; and a bottle of square section with flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a footrim, finely painted with the Eight Immortals, each with his or her attribute, in a garden setting, the eight divided into pairs for each of the four panels, the shoulders decorated with prunus blossoms against a "cracked-ice" ground, the neck painted with bats in flight, ivory stopper with carnelian finial
    2¾ in. (7.0 cm.) and 2 5/64 in. (5.3 cm.) high respectively (2)


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    Blue and white snuff bottles were not made in large quantities before the last years of the 18th century, despite the very long tradition of such wares at Jingde Zhen. They soon grew in popularity, however, to become one of the most popular types for the second half of the dynasty as the habit spread to the entire nation. Kangxi and Yongzheng reign marks on blue and white porcelain snuff bottles are apocryphal, and arise out of the mid-Qing interest in collecting old snuff bottles, whether for use or simply as art objects.

    An identical square snuff bottle is in the Bloch Collection (unpublished), demonstrating that these were made in a series, as was typical of nineteenth-century porcelain production. Another faceted bottle in the Walters Collection formed in the 1870s and 1880s decorated with different subject matter is illustrated in S. Bushell, Oriental Ceramic Art, p. 279, fig. 334.

    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

    Lotus scroll bottle: T.C.M. O'Donovan Collection.
    Elisabeth and Ladislas Kardos
    Immortals bottle: Huntington Collection.


    Literature

    Immortals bottle: Arts of Asia, March-April 1974, p. 47.


    Exhibited

    Both: Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.