Meriem Collection Sale One / 612

The Meriem Collection. Lot 612

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**A RARE INSIDE-PAINTED AMBER SNUFF BOTTLE BOTTLE: 1750-1850; DECORATION: WANG XISAN, HENGSHUI CITY, 1990-
1994
Of rounded-rectangular form with flat lip and recessed concave
oval foot, finely painted with a continuous landscape depicting
two scholars conversing on a path that continues onto the
reverse where it leads to a bridge being crossed by an attendant
carrying a wrapped qin, the stream flowing beneath the bridge
issuing from a waterfall in the mountains in the distance,
inscribed in draft script, Qingqi fengyou (“Encounter with friends
at a stream”), followed by the signature, Xisan, and the seal
Wang, coral stopper with jadeite finial and vinyl collar
6.4 cm. high
$7,000-9,000

P R O V E N A N C E :
Y. F. Yang & Co. (Hong Kong).
E X H I B I T E D :
Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.
L I T E R A T U R E :
Catalogue, Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.

Given the wealth of old, undecorated bottles available through the
Beijing Arts and Crafts Corporation, Wang Xisan had ready access to
old bottles to paint. Another example of an inside-painted amber bottle
by Wang Xisan is in the Bloch Collection, illustrated by Moss, Graham,
Tsang in A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 4, Inside-Painted, no.
659, where the artist’s career is dealt with; numerous other examples by
his hand are also illustrated.

Wang trained under Ye Bengqi, son of Ye Zhongsan, and began by
using similar techniques, including the basic method of preparing a
bottle for painting by shaking ball-bearings mixed with corundum
powder and water in order to evenly abrade the interior and give the
colors purchase. The painting would then have been done with bamboo
pens, bent sharply at the end, the traditional tool for this art established
in Beijing around 1800 and subsequently passed on through Zhou
Leyuan, the Ye family and finally to Wang. It was also a method adopted
by the Lingnan School in the south.

However, Wang was keen to try new methods of painting, and was
impressed by the brushes used by Li Kechang of the Shandong School of
inside painters, so he started using these by the mid-1960s, resulting in
expressive brushwork, particularly in his landscape scenes.
This bottle has been identified by the artist as having been painted in his
studio in Hengshui city in the early 1990s.
1750–1850

The Meriem Collection. Lot 612

Hugh Moss |