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A CARVED SILHOUETTE AGATE SNUFF BOTTLE
A CARVED SILHOUETTE AGATE SNUFF BOTTLE

OFFICIAL SCHOOL 1770-1870

Details
A CARVED SILHOUETTE AGATE SNUFF BOTTLE
OFFICIAL SCHOOL 1770-1870
Of well-hollowed, flattened form with slightly concave mouth and recessed flat foot surrounded by a footrim, carved through the dark brown skin with the Hehe immortals, the figure on the left holding up a small bird, the figure on the right holding a lotus bouquet, a second bird in flight above, the stone of pale greyish-beige color with warm honey-toned flecks on the reverse, jadeite stopper with silver collar
2 21/32 in. (6.7 cm.) high

Lot Essay

See the catalogue note to lot 225 for a discussion on silhouette agate snuff bottles.

The Hehe erxian, or the Two Immortals of Harmony and Unity, were believed to preside over happy marriages, and are adaptations of two famous poet-monks of the Tang dynasty, Hanshan and Shide. They were one of the more popular subjects for this group of silhouette agate snuff bottles which appear to have flourished in the mid-Qing period. The degree of inspiration in the interpretation of the natural markings varies with this important school of agate snuff bottles, but is seldom less than exciting and here the combination of dendritic markings and pale and dark coloring, have inspired the artist to considerable heights.

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