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**A RARE BLUE OVERLAY 'FRUIT BOWL' GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
**A RARE BLUE OVERLAY 'FRUIT BOWL' GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE

PROBABLY IMPERIAL, ATTRIBUTED TO THE PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, 1700-1750

Details
**A RARE BLUE OVERLAY 'FRUIT BOWL' GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE
PROBABLY IMPERIAL, ATTRIBUTED TO THE PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, 1700-1750
Of compressed spherical form, finely carved through the layer of sapphire-blue to the 'snowflake' ground with fruiting peach, pomegranate and finger-citron branches above persimmons and lotus pods, all set within a bowl incised with stylized floral scroll forming the base of the bottle, glass stopper with jadeite finial and turquoise collar
2 3/8 in. (6 cm.) high
Provenance
Hugh Moss
Literature
Moss et. al., The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, The J & J Collection, vol. 2, no. 362
The Miniature World-An Exhibition of Snuff Bottles from the J & J Collection, front cover and p. 56
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
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

This outstanding bottle represents the earlier phase of overlaying in snuff bottles. The characteristics of this group include impeccable formal integrity, vibrant color, superbly confident design, careful carving and undercutting and a smooth, even finish. The relief is unusually well rounded and conveys a strong sense of three-dimensionality. They have excellent plastic control of the design. This bottle is one of the most impressive, with its sumptuous, gem-like overlay and superb composition and carving.

The popularity of baskets in general at the Court may arise from the probable symbolism of the basket (lanzi) which may suggest male children (nanzi), one of the three desires dear to the Chinese heart which are embodied in the term sanduo ('three plenties'). These are duofu ('plenty of happiness'), duoshou ('plenty of years to live') and duonanzi ('plenty of male children'). The concept can be traced back to the 'Heaven and Earth' chapter in Zhuangzi (The Collected Works of Zhuangzi), compiled during the Warring States period.

There is a whole series of wares decorated with baskets of flowers or fruit which are associated with the eighteenth-century Qing Court. The design is found on Imperial porcelain dishes enameled at Jingdezhen and at the Palace workshops from the Yongzheng period and on a range of snuff bottles attributable to the Palace workshops. Three bottles decorated with this subject in the Bloch Collection include two enamel on metal examples from the first half of the Qianlong period, illustrated in R. Kleiner, The Bloch Collection, no. 4, and Chinese Snuff Bottles. A Miniature Art, no. 5; and an example from the Guyue Xuan group, an Imperial group of the late Qianlong period, illustrated by R. Kleiner, The Bloch Collection, no. 23, which is no longer attributed to the Ye family but to the earlier Guyue Xuan group. Other examples are found in glass overlay, often of several colors, such as the spectacular mid-Qing double-overlay with begonias in a basket in the J & J Collection illustrated by Moss et. al., The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, no. 395. So many examples of the subject can be attributed to the Court or to Court influence that it is clearly established as a popular Imperial subject of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

A red overlay glass bottle carved with a related design of the 'Three Abundances' (finger citrons, peaches and pomegranates) set into a bowl that forms the base of the bottle in the Palace Museum, Beijing is illustrated in Snuff Bottles - The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, p. 37, no. 50.
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