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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 5 

Lot 5


Lot 5
Treasury 4, no. 470

Hair-Crystal Abundance

Pale brown crystal with inclusions of tourmaline, with ink and watercolours; with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim; painted with a continuous scene of fish swimming amidst aquatic plants, including catfish, carp, and mandarin fish, inscribed in draft script ‘Painted by Zhou Leyuan in a winter month of the year yiyou’, followed by one indecipherable seal of the artist
Bottle: 1770–1880
Painting: Zhou Leyuan, Studio of Lotus-root Fragrance, Xuannan, Beijing, winter, 1885
Height: 5.4 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.60/1.82 cm
Stopper: tourmaline; vinyl collar

Lot 5 Provenance:
Unrecorded source (prior to 1972)
Hugh Moss (1987)

JICSBS, Spring 1986, back cover
Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 312 and dust-jacket cover
Treasury 4, no. 470

Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
National Museum, Singapore, November 1994–February 1995

Lot 5 Commentary

It is surprising that it took nearly a century before inside-painted artists began responding to the full potential of their medium by using materials other than glass and crystal. Perhaps the early artists felt it quite unnecessary to gild the lily of their exciting new invention with unnecessary frills. Their audience would have been sufficiently impressed by the accomplishment of putting literati paintings and poetry into their beloved snuff bottles without the need for any further encouragement. Whatever the reason, it was not until Zhou Leyuan first saw the potential in these other materials, with this bottle, in the winter of 1885, that the potential for integrating natural markings in material with certain subjects was fully realized. The result is quite spectacular.


Easy link to this page: http://www.e-yaji.com/auction/photo.php?photo=841&exhibition=6&ee_lang=eng


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Hugh Moss |