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**A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE MINIATURE CLOISONN© ENAMEL SNUFF BOTTLE
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
**A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE MINIATURE CLOISONN© ENAMEL SNUFF BOTTLE

IMPERIAL, PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, QIANLONG FOUR-CHARACTER INCISED MARK AND OF THE PERIOD, 1736-1770

Details
**A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE MINIATURE CLOISONN© ENAMEL SNUFF BOTTLE
IMPERIAL, PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, QIANLONG FOUR-CHARACTER INCISED MARK AND OF THE PERIOD, 1736-1770
The ovoid body supported on three formalized lingzhi-head feet, with two elaborate formalized flowers among scrolling floral designs separated by a pair of masks suspending loose rings, the neck encircled by a band of formalized lingzhi heads, the base incised in regular script Qianlong nian zhi (Made in the Qianlong period), enamel-on-porcelain stopper with integral collar and finial, molded with a formalized floral design and painted with gold enamel, by John Charlton, circa 1970
15/16 in. (2.43 cm.) high
Provenance
Hugh Moss
Literature
100 Selected Chinese Snuff Bottles from the J & J Collection, front cover and no. 96
JICSBS, Autumn 1992, front and back covers
Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle The J & J Collection, Vol. II, no. 264
Snuff Bottles aus China. Sammlung J & J, 1996-1997, p. 9
The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle-The J & J Collection: An Exhibition at the Percival David Foundation, 1997, p. 9
Naples Illustrated, September 2001, p. 56
The Miniature World-An Exhibition of Snuff Bottles from the J & J Collection, p. 16
Exhibited
Hugh M. Moss Ltd., London 1974
Christie's, London, October 1987
Christie's, New York, 1993
Empress Place Museum, Singapore, 1994
Museum für 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

With its brilliant colors and exquisite enameling, this extremely rare miniature cloisonné enamel bottle is undoubtedly a product of the Qianlong Palace workshops. The charmingly small size is characteristic of Imperial wares of the period, when miniature works of art exhibiting technical mastery were in great demand, as is the beautifully incised four-character reign mark, which is often found on cloisonné enamel wares produced at the Palace workshops. The distinctive mask-and-ring handles flanking the sides of the bottle are also often found on Palace wares from the Qianlong period. These finely detailed masks, supporting perfectly circular rings, find their exact counterparts in a series of massive bronze cauldrons used for containing water in case of fire, which are strategically placed throughout the Forbidden City in Beijing. See Wango Weng and Yang Boda, The Palace Museum, Peking. Treasures of the Forbidden City, p. 72, lower left illustration.
Less than an inch high, this bottle represents cloisonné enamel at its finest, with a simple, formalized design beautifully disposed on an elegant form, the simple coloring giving strength to the abstraction and the wires well gilded against a perfectly even surface. The artist has chosen to use the traditional palette of enamels, available since the fifteenth century when cloisonné enamel went through its first florescence at the Court, rather than include enamels introduced in the early-eighteenth century from Europe by the Jesuits, thus initiating the so-called famille rose palette.
An identical unpublished bottle is in the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing, and was shown in a slide lecture at the Poly Art Museum on 25 September 2003, by the Curator of Works of Art of the Palace Museum, Mr. Xia Gengqi.

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