Meriem Collection Sale One / 613

The Meriem Collection. Lot 613

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**A VERY RARE ENAMELED WHITE GLASS LOTUS-BUD-FORM SNUFF BOTTLE
IMPERIAL, PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, QIANLONG FOUR-CHARACTER MARK IN BLUE ENAMEL AND OF THE PERIOD, 1760-1795
Of ovoid form and enameled in imitation of a lotus bud, the rows of overlapping petals
painted in shades of pink before shading to pale green as the petals get close to the
bottom of the bud where they issue from a plain band of the white glass body
encircling the small circular mouth, with a beetle and two ladybirds crawling on the
petals, the point of the bud inscribed in blue enamel regular script, Qianlong nian zhi
(Made in the Qianlong period), coral stopper with gilt-metal collar
4.8 cm. high, wood stand
$200,000-250,000

P R O V E N A N C E :
Hugh Moss Ltd.

This unique Palace enamel-on-glass bottle dates from the mid- to late- Qianlong period. It is
obviously related to a porcelain equivalent illustrated by H. Moss in Chinese Snuff Bottles, No. 5, p.
28, fig. 17, which is of similar form. The porcelain version was dated there to the Daoguang
period, but today would be ascribed to the late Qianlong period. The Qianlong Emperor sometimes
took works of art from his Palace workshops and ordered copies made at Jingde Zhen, and it is
likely that the design concept for the porcelain bottle was inspired by this one. Another enameled
glass bottle from the Mullin Collection in the form of a gourd is also known, ibid., p. 27, fig. 12,
and closely relates to the present example.

The enamels and the manner in which they are used, particularly in the use of a red line over a
pink wash to depict petals, suggests a link between this bottle and the Guyue Xuan group of
enameled wares made for the Court between 1767 and 1799 (see H. Moss, “Mysteries of the
Ancient Moon”, JICSBS, Spring 2006, pp. 16-7).

Apart from its rarity in both form and decoration, this example has survived in remarkably good
condition and was probably protected in the Imperial Collection until the late-Qing or Republican
period, by which time it would already have been a valuable collectors’ item and spared the
dangers of an extended period of use as a snuff bottle.

The lotus is a symbol of integrity, as it blossoms unsullied by the muddy water from which is rises,
while the ladybirds and beetle are signs of fertility.

The Meriem Collection. Lot 613

Hugh Moss |