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A FINE AND RARE WHITE JADE SNUFF BOTTLE
1730-1800
Of a tall and elegant form tapering to a narrow oval foot, carved in shallow relief with a continuous design of flowering prunus branches cascading from the shoulder, above an incised four-character inscription Guxiang zhenshang, 'Treasured by Guxiang', ending with a seal Pianyu, 'A piece of jade', the stone of an even white tone, stopper
2 15/16 in. (7.6 cm.) high
Provenance
Sotheby's London, 31 May 1972, lot 397
Hugh Moss
Literature
Moss et. al., The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, The J&J Collection, vol. 1, no. 29
The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, Poly Art Museum, Beijing, p. 21
Exhibited
Hugh M. Moss Ltd., London, September 1974
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

Lot Essay

This subtle and exquisite bottle is superbly conceived, with the composition of overhanging prunus branches providing a painterly quality to the decoration. The blossoming prunus is a very popular subject-matter as it blooms during winter and symbolizes courage in the face of adversity. As such, the subject would have found widespread appeal among the literati.

It is not immediately known who Guxiang is. The seal Pianyu may be in reference to the slim and elegant shape of the bottle, likening it to a slice of jade.
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