Details
A RARE GUANGZHOU ENAMEL SNUFF BOTTLE
IMPERIAL, GUANGZHOU WORKSHOPS, QIANLONG BLUE ENAMEL FOUR-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1799)

Of tapering ovoid form, finely painted with a continuous formalized floral design of various flowers, including Indian lotus and peonies, growing from a scrolling vine, with a simulated floral brocade sash tied around the body, the area beneath the sash on a yellow ground, and above it on a pale, sky-blue ground, the shoulders with a foliate mantel of pink flowers with green stems on a yellow ground, the neck with a band of rope-border on a similar, pale blue ground, the exposed surfaces all gilt, stopper
2 1/8 in. (5.3 cm.) high
Provenance
Christie's New York, 2 June 1994, lot 501
Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd.

Lot Essay

The design of the tied brocade sash is associated with the Court and suggests precious objects, wrapped as if for presentation. It also symbolizes longevity through a pun on the Chinese characters for 'tied sash' and 'longevity.'

In both design and style, this bottle is typical of Guangzhou enamelling for the Court from the Yongzheng period onwards, suggesting that this is more likely to date from the earlier part of the Qianlong reign. The rope border around the neck is borrowed from designs of Palace enamels and found widely on glass and hardstone bottle produced at the Palace workshops. The formalized floral design is also taken from enamelled metal, glass and porcelain produced at the Palace workshops from the Kangxi period to the end of the Qianlong period.

Cf. two similar bottles from a set in the Palace Museum, Beijing, both decorated with a tied sash over a floral ground, one included in the exhibition Tributes From Guangdong to the Qing Court, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1987, illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 88, fig. 52, and the other illustrated in Snuff Bottles. The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2003, pl. 153.
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