Meriem Collection Sale One / 619

The Meriem Collection. Lot 619

Previous | Thumbnails | Next
Click on the image below for a close up
 
   

**A FAMILLE ROSE PORCELAIN SNUFF BOTTLE
IMPERIAL, JINGDE ZHEN KILNS, DAOGUANG FOUR-CHARACTER MARK IN
IRON-RED SEAL SCRIPT AND OF THE PERIOD (1821-1850)
Of compressed spherical form with flat lip and recessed foot
with surrounding footrim, finely painted with a continuous
scene of two pairs of doves amidst orchid plants and bamboo,
the foot inscribed with a four-character mark in seal script
reading Daoguang nian zhi (Made in the Daoguang period), coral
stopper with pearl finial and gilt-metal collar
5.7 cm. high
$5,000-7,000

E X H I B I T E D :
Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.

The present example belongs to a group of finely painted bottles from
the Daoguang period which were made in sets for the Court to
distribute as gifts. It is decorated with pairs of doves on both sides,
although it was not uncommon for some bottles to be painted with
doves on one side, and Pekinese dogs on the other.

It would appear that the Daoguang Emperor and his consort were fond
of doves and small dogs, respectively, so the two subjects were popular
on Imperial snuff bottles of the period. According to Geoffrey R. Sayer
(Tao Ya or Pottery Refinements, London, 1959, p. 123, no. 722),
“Cheng Miao [the Daoguang Emperor] was fond of pigeons; his exalted
concubine was fond of little dogs. That is why many of the dishes of the
period have pictures of these two creatures.”

Paired doves, like other paired creatures, suggest conjugal bliss. As a
rule, one of the creatures is light and one dark, presumably to mirror
the yin/yang balance. This is certainly one of the more effective and
successful decorative designs of the Imperial kilns, with the simplicity
of the shapes of the doves set against the grassy ground.

A Daoguang-marked enameled porcelain bottle with very similar design,
from the J & J Collection, was sold in these rooms, 29 March 2006, lot
15. Another example decorated with a pair of doves on one side and a
pair of Pekinese dogs on the reverse is in the Palace Museum, Beijing,
and is illustrated in Snuff Bottles. The Complete Collection of Treasures
of the Palace Museum, p. 227, no. 348.

The Meriem Collection. Lot 619

Hugh Moss |