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photographer E-Yaji.
Snuff Bottles from the Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part II  
Bonham's, Hong Kong, 23 November 2010: Lot 88 

Lot 88

   

Lot 88
Treasury 6, no. 1236

Brocade Scrolls

Famille rose enamels on colourless glaze on porcelain; moulded in the form of two scrolls wrapped in a sash and tied with a loosely knotted cord, with a recessed, flat, circular lip at the end of one scroll; the sash decorated with formalized cloud designs, the outer covers of the scrolls featuring geometric diaper patterns, one of which resembles coins, the other being a combination of octagons and squares reminiscent of the carapace of a tortoise; a roller end on one scroll forming the stopper, the other the three protruding roller ends surrounded by lines suggesting the edges of the rolled-up scrolls; the lip unglazed; the interior covered with a colourless glaze
Jingdezhen, 1780–1820
Height: 6.53 cm
Mouth/recessed lip: 0.52/1.02 cm
Stopper: coral, carved as a twig; coral collar

Lot 88 Provenance:
John Ault

Published:
Treasury 6, no. 1236

Lot 88 Commentary
The unusual design of two scrolls tied together is implicit with the idea of a married couple. This idea is reinforced by the loosely tied knot, called a tongxin jie; the intertwining of its concentric loops symbolizes undying love. The coin pattern decorating the brocade cover of one scroll embodies fertility connotations as well as wealth. In addition, these scrolls (whether of painting or calligraphy) evoke the idea of longevity on account of their exceedingly long shapes. The same symbolic meaning is embodied in the tortoise-carapace pattern decorating the brocade mounting of the other scroll and in the cord.

The enamels and style are typical of the Jiaqing period, and it was during this reign that the glazed interior came back into fashion. It is also constructed in the usual manner for moulded bottles, with two halves being pressed into a two-part mould.

 

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