Overview

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**A FINE CARVED LACQUER SNUFF BOTTLE
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
**A FINE CARVED LACQUER SNUFF BOTTLE

PROBABLY IMPERIAL, ATTRIBUTED TO THE PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, 1730-1820

Details
**A FINE CARVED LACQUER SNUFF BOTTLE
PROBABLY IMPERIAL, ATTRIBUTED TO THE PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, 1730-1820
Of compressed apple form with a flat foot, finely carved with a continuous garden landscape scene with rocks, a wutong tree and bamboo, one side with a woman in a pavilion looking into a mirror, her right hand raised as she applies makeup, an armed warrior with long feathers in his hat watching her from outside, the other side with a bearded man fighting what appears to be the same warrior, the neck of the bottle carved with a diaper pattern above the shoulder which is encircled by a continuous band of leiwen, the gilt-bronze stopper with horn finial and integral collar probably original and decorated with a formalized floral design
2½ in. (6.35 cm.) high
Provenance
Christie's, London, 14 June 1985, lot 104
Hugh M. Moss Ltd.
Literature
Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, Vol. II, no. 312
JICSBS , Winter 2001, p. 19, fig. 70
Exhibited
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

The present bottle belongs to a group of early lacquer bottles that appears to be Imperial and to date from the eighteenth century. The predominant color used on this group was cinnabar red, but occasionally green or black were used as contrasts.
The subject matter, typically figures in a landscape where individuals are in particular groupings with specific attributes, is usually drawn from popular dramas, operas or novels, or from myths and legends. The repetition of what appears to be the same figure on each side indicates the two sides should be read as sequential rather than continuous, and that the two scenes are from the same story.
A clue to the dating and origin of this group may be found in the well-known group of Imperial molded porcelain bottles from the late-Qianlong and Jiaqing periods, some of which obviously imitate cinnabar lacquer bottles, establishing their existence as an Imperial type prior to the 1790s. The shape of this bottle is standard for this group. Two other comparable bottles from the J & J Collection are illustrated in Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, nos. 310 and 311, the latter of which was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 25 April 2004, lot 815. Three further cinnabar lacquer bottles from this group carved with figural scenes are in the Qing Court Collection in the Palace Museum, Beijing, and are illustrated in Snuff Bottles - The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, nos. 392-95.

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