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A RARE GUANGZHOU ENAMEL SNUFF BOTTLE
PROBABLY IMPERIAL, GUANGZHOU WORKSHOPS, 1723-1735

The compressed globular bottle finely painted with a continuous formalized design of bats enclosed within a simulated loosely tied cloth decorated with a swastika-diaper ground and floral segments, the neck with pendant ruyi and a formalized floral band, the foot enameled with twin peaches in a black cartouche, stopper
1 3/4 in. (4.42 cm.) high
Provenance
Hugh Moss
Literature
JICSBS, September 1980, front cover
Viviane Jutheau, Guide du Collectionneur de Tabatieres Chinoises, p. 55
Moss et. al., The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, The J&J Collection, vol. 1, no. 180
The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, Poly Art Museum, Beijing, p. 58
Exhibited
Hugh M. Moss Ltd., London, September 1974
Christie's New York, 1993
Empress Place Museum, Singapore, 1994
Museum fur Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt, 1996-1997
Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, London, 1997
Naples Museum of Art, Florida, 2002
Portland Museum of Art, Oregon, 2002
National Museum of History, Taipei, 2002
International Asian Art Fair, Seventh Regiment Armory, New York, 2003
Poly Art Museum, Beijing, 2003

Lot Essay

The design of the tied brocade sash is associated with the Court and suggests precious objects, wrapped as if for presentation. It also symbolizes longevity through a pun on the Chinese characters for 'tied sash' and 'longevity'. Bats are also symbols of happiness and a large number of bats implies a wish for boundless happiness. The pair of peaches on the base reinforces the auspiciousness of the subject in wishing the owner long life in which to enjoy boundless happiness.

A bottle of this exact design but with a Yongzheng mark on the base is illustrated in Snuff Bottles in the Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, p. 87, no. 22; while another Guangzhou enamelled bottle with a Yongzheng mark inscribed within a pair of peaches is illustrated in Snuff Bottles of the Ch'ing Dynasty, p. 48, no. 6. A Yongzheng-marked, double-gourd enameled copper bottle decorated around the waist with a similar cloth with bats and swastika-diaper pattern is in the Denis Low Collection and is illustrated by R. Kleiner, Treasures from the Sanctum of Enlightened Respect, Singapore, 1999, p. 8, no. 6. All three snuff bottles were made for the court, and with the symbolism of the bats, brocade sash and peaches on the present bottle, together with its similarity to an Imperial example, it is very possible that this was a birthday gift for the Yongzheng emperor.
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