Lot Content

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**A RARE AND UNUSUAL SOAPSTONE SNUFF BOTTLE
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
**A RARE AND UNUSUAL SOAPSTONE SNUFF BOTTLE

1730-1850

Details
**A RARE AND UNUSUAL SOAPSTONE SNUFF BOTTLE
1730-1850
Of flattened form with flat lip and recessed foot surrounded by a flat footrim, the stone of variegated orange-yellow tone with deeper orange flushes, jadeite stopper with vinyl collar
1 63/64 in. (5.0 cm.) high
Provenance
Fox's, St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco.
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

Soapstone (talc, also known as steatite), is among the softest of stones used by Chinese carvers and is workable directly with a metal blade while much harder materials require lapidary work. It was mined in various parts of the empire and was found in a range of often spectacular colors. The most sought-after stones were those with attractive coloring and with a translucence that revealed inner texture, as in the present material. The most precious of all soapstone is known as tianhuang (field yellow), from Fujian province, which resembles the present material in color and texture, but is mined in a different part of the country.

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