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A RARE FAMILLE ROSE ENAMELED PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE
A RARE FAMILLE ROSE ENAMELED PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE

IMPERIAL, JINGDEZHEN KILNS, DAOGUANG IRON-RED FOUR-CHARACTER SEAL MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1821-1850)

Details
A RARE FAMILLE ROSE ENAMELED PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE
IMPERIAL, JINGDEZHEN KILNS, DAOGUANG IRON-RED FOUR-CHARACTER SEAL MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1821-1850)
Of compressed rounded form, well painted on one side with a scene of eighteen crabs among reeds below a poetic inscription in regular script followed by two seals, ya and wan (together, 'For elegant enjoyment'), the reverse painted with three crayfish and two mollusks amidst aquatic plants below a further poetic inscription followed by one seal, wan ('Enjoyment' or 'Plaything'), the narrow sides with molded, raised masks suspending fixed-ring handles enameled in blue, green and black, the rings enameled in iron-red and gold, stopper
2 7/16 in. (6.08 cm.) high
Provenance
Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd.
Exhibited
Christie's Los Angeles, 2003

Lot Essay

The design on this bottle is one of the rarer subjects found on Imperial porcelain from the Daoguang period which bears lengthy inscriptions. The well-known group of porcelain bottles decorated with the subject of Queen Victoria, to which the present bottle is related by its inscriptions, can be confidently dated to the latter part of the reign, suggesting a possible date for the present example.

Crabs, especially when depicted amidst waterweeds, are symbolic of promotion in officialdom. See for example, another Daoguang-marked bottle illustrated in Snuff Bottles. The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Commercial Press, Hong Kong, 2003, pl. 353.

The inscription on the bottle describes the characteristics and behaviour of crabs, and likens their movement to the act of bowing in a show of respect.
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