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**A CARVED GREYISH-GREEN JADE SNUFF BOTTLE
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
**A CARVED GREYISH-GREEN JADE SNUFF BOTTLE

1740-1840

Details
**A CARVED GREYISH-GREEN JADE SNUFF BOTTLE
1740-1840
The stone with areas of brown and creamy-white, the well-hollowed, cylindrical bottle carved in low relief cleverly utilizing the natural colors in the stone as a partial cameo with Shegong carved entirely from the creamy-white inclusion, rising from behind the body of a three-clawed dragon amidst stylized clouds, set above formalized waves, tourmaline stopper
2 7/16 in. (6.1 cm.) high
Provenance
Sotheby's London, 3 December 1997, lot 534
Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd.
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.

Lot Essay

This unique bottle, with its unusual cylindrical shape for a nephrite bottle and strangely colored material, is difficult to place in any particular school, although the material bears some resemblance to that sometimes used by the Masters of the Rocks School; there are also some similarities in the style of carving. See Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles. The Mary and George Bloch Collection, vol. 1, Jade, nos. 133-43.

The subject of this bottle is the dragon conjurer, Shegong, shown here with his dragon. According to Liang gaoseng zhuan (Biographies of Eminent Buddhist Monks [Compiled in the] Liang Dynasty), Shegang was a Central Asian who traveled to Chang'an in AD 375 during the reign of Fu Jian (338-385). He had the ability to summon the divine dragon by reciting incantations, and whenever the country was afflicted by drought, Fu Jian ordered Shegong to send for the dragon. The fabulous creature would immediately appear, and the moment it would dive into Shegong's alms bowl, rain poured down from the sky. See Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, vol. 5, Glass, no. 1041.
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