See the footnote to lot 621 for a discussion of Suzhou as a cultural and carving center.
A transcendent masterpiece of Qing hardstone carving, this exceptional bottle combines inspired use of material with masterful control of the medium. Genius in interpreting different colored marking in stones relies upon the ability of the artist to give the impression that he has not been constrained in any way by the material. The remarkable stone, with its green and white inclusions in addition to the more conventional russet, honey-beige and brown, is used with considerable imagination and to great effect. Particularly noteworthy are the different planes of color used to represent the leaves of the plantain tree, and the deer carved from the white area on the reverse, showing off the consummate creativity of the artist.