Meriem Collection Sale One / 632

The Meriem Collection. Lot 632

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**A SUPERBLY CARVED AGATE SNUFF BOTTLE
SCHOOL OF ZHITING, SUZHOU, 1760-1860
Of compressed spherical form with flat lip and small irregularly-shaped flat foot, finely
carved with clever use of the different-colored areas of the translucent stone, on one
side a scholar is shown seated and fishing on the bank of a river, beside a plantain tree
with dark green leaves, his hat and robes highlighted by the dark brown areas in the
stone, as are the clusters of needles of the pine tree on the opposite rocky shore, on the
other main side an attendant prepares tea between two rock faces while a deer, carved
from a white area, peers at him over a rocky ledge, with a four-character inscription,
song xi yin sheng (“A scenic spot hidden amidst pines and streams”), carved from a
brown area in the rock to the left, stained agate stopper with silver collar
6 cm. high
$40,000-60,000

P R O V E N A N C E :
Hugh M. Moss Collection.
Hugh Moss Ltd., purchased in the 1970s.
E X H I B I T E D :
Canadian Craft Museum, Vancouver, 1992.

See the footnote to lot 621 for a discussion of Suzhou as a cultural and carving center.
A transcendent masterpiece of Qing hardstone carving, this exceptional bottle combines inspired
use of material with masterful control of the medium. Genius in interpreting different colored
marking in stones relies upon the ability of the artist to give the impression that he has not been
constrained in any way by the material. The remarkable stone, with its green and white inclusions
in addition to the more conventional russet, honey-beige and brown, is used with considerable
imagination and to great effect. Particularly noteworthy are the different planes of color used to
represent the leaves of the plantain tree, and the deer carved from the white area on the reverse,
showing off the consummate creativity of the artist.
1760–1860

The Meriem Collection. Lot 632

Hugh Moss |