25 April 2004
A VERY FINE AND RARE PALE GREY AND BLACK JADE FISH SNUFF BOTTLE
POSSIBLY SUZHOU, 1740-1860
The well-hollowed bottle finely carved making good use of the light grey and black colouring in the stone as four intertwined fish, two disposed on each side in a repeated pattern, stopper
2 3/8 in. (6 cm.) high
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 2 May 1996, lot 1272
Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd.
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Oriental Art, Vol. XLIX, No. 2 (2003), p. 65
The J & J Collection, Part II: A Selection of Unpublished Snuff Bottles, Christie's Los Angeles, 22 October 2003
This bottle belongs to a series of entwined fish bottles discussed in Moss et. al., The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle, no. 158; see also the footnote to lot 813 in this sale. The treatment of the fish bears a similarity to the style associated with Suzhou, and it is possible this bottle was made at one of the workshops in that town. This bottle is an unusual example incorporating black jade, and one of the more deeply carved of the group.
The image of large carp (da liyu) is a pun on the expression 'big profit' (da li).
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