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**A VERY RARE AND FINELY CARVED 'CHICKEN BONE' JADE SNUFF BOTTLE
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
**A VERY RARE AND FINELY CARVED 'CHICKEN BONE' JADE SNUFF BOTTLE

1730-1800

Details
**A VERY RARE AND FINELY CARVED 'CHICKEN BONE' JADE SNUFF BOTTLE
1730-1800
Of compressed spherical form, finely carved with a continuous design of fruiting branches of finger citrons amidst unfurling leaves, all beneath a butterfly in flight, the stone of warm honey tone suffused with fine dark veining, jadeite stopper
2 1/16 in. (5.2 cm.) high
Provenance
Bob C. Stevens
Sotheby's, Honolulu, 7 November 1981, lot 135
Hugh M. Moss Ltd.
Literature
Chinese Snuff Bottles No. 4, p. 38, no. 3
Bob C. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, no. 365
Chinese Snuff Bottles and Dishes, p. 69, no. 177
100 Selected Chinese Snuff Bottles from the J & J Collection, no. 4 Moss et. al., The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, The J & J Collection, vol. 1, no. 47
Exhibited
Mikimoto Hall, Tokyo, October 1978
Christie's, London, October 1987
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
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

The finger citron is also known as 'Buddha's hand' citron, fo shou, because of the long tendrils that look like fingers. Although inedible, the finger citron's strong fragrance made it useful for scenting rooms. It was also placed in offering bowls on Buddhist altars. Since its shape was also seen as a grasping hand, it became a symbol of wealth.

The distinct color and texture of this jade, often called calcified or 'chicken-bone' jade, was probably induced by subjecting the nephrite to very high temperature, resulting in the distinctive and attractive appearance. This may represent an attempt to imitate the opaque grey and beige patina acquired by nephrite articles excavated from ancient tombs that had been transformed during the centuries in the damp earth. Enormous value was placed on these ancient, excavated works of art from the past, and calcified jades acquired immense appeal.
For another famous example from the McReynolds Collections, see B. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, no. 382.
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