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A PALE BLUE-ENAMELED AND MOLDED PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE
A PALE BLUE-ENAMELED AND MOLDED PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE

PROBABLY WANG BINGRONG, 1820-1860

Details
A PALE BLUE-ENAMELED AND MOLDED PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE
PROBABLY WANG BINGRONG, 1820-1860
The bottle is molded in high relief with a scaly five-clawed dragon with carved details and bulging eyes highlighted in black enamel, pursuing a flaming pearl amidst clouds.
2 ¾ in. (7 cm.) high, glass stopper
Provenance
Robert Kleiner, Belfont Company Ltd., Hong Kong, 1997.
Ruth and Carl Barron Collection, Belmont, Massachusetts, no. 2533.
Exhibited
Boston, International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society Convention, The Barron Collection, 23-26 September 2008.

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Margaret Gristina
Margaret Gristina

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Lot Essay

For a similar bottle see the exhibition catalogue, Chinese Snuff Bottles, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 15 Oct-26 Nov, 1977, fig. 75, and R. Kleiner, Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of John Ault, 1990, fig. 154, where the author states, "a series of bottles by Wang Bingrong is known, depicting dragons on a pierced cloud ground, but this bottle is a much rarer treatment of the subject."

Wang Bingrong was one of the finest of a small group of independent ceramicists of the 19th century who began to emerge from the traditionally anonymous production of ceramics at Jingdezhen by signing their names, developing distinctive styles and acquiring fame. His dates are not known, but Wang probably worked from sometime during the Daoguang period into the second half of the 19th century.

It is interesting to note with Wang Bingrong's series of dragon bottles that no two are identical. In each case the design was considered afresh, with the dragons in different positions, suggesting that the designs owed nothing to a mold, but were entirely carved by hand, even if the initial shape of the bottle was derived from a mold.

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