Meriem Collection Sale One / 641

The Meriem Collection. Lot 641

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**AN UNUSUAL ENAMELED STONEWARE SNUFF BOTTLE
YIXING, 1790-1840
With flat lip and recessed foot surrounded by a footrim, the bottle finely decorated with
a continuous landscape scene of a pavilion nestled amidst pine trees between a towering
rocky cliff and the bank of a river where a fisherman can be seen in his boat below
a flock of birds, the other main side decorated with a scholar holding a staff and his
attendant carrying his qin, the two figures standing on either side of a pine tree as they
look up at the sun, stained walrus ivory stopper
6.5 cm. high
$6,000-8,000

P R O V E N A N C E :
Bob C. Stevens.
Lila S. Perry.
Sotheby’s, Honolulu.
E X H I B I T E D :
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and Vancouver Museum, The Brown Stonewares of the
Yixing Kilns. The Carol Potter Peckham Collection, 1992.
L I T E R A T U R E :
B. Stevens, The Collector’s Book of Snuff Bottles, no. 339.
The Brown Stonewares of the Yixing Kilns. The Carol Potter Peckham Collection, p. 65,
fig. vi, left.

Yixing in Jiangsu province to the west of Shanghai is associated with a very distinctive type of
stoneware. It is usually purplish-brown, hence its reference in Chinese as “purple clay” ware, but
its color can vary greatly, ranging from pale beige, to brown, to green. It has been produced for
nearly a thousand years in the same place, but came to artistic prominence only in the 16th and
17th century (during the late Ming dynasty), when the scholarly classes found it a suitable material
for teapots and other scholar’s articles.

The snuff bottles are usually left plain, painted with slip designs, carved or enameled. Although the
enameled versions are obvious folk-art, they follow the tradition of literati painting in their subject
matter and mode. The subjects were, no doubt, inspired by the rivers, lakes and mountains of
Jiangnan (South of the River) area in which Yixing was situated and where so many of the literati
lived. Although the style is different, the choice of subject matter links the enameled wares with
those decorated with slip designs, such as those illustrated by Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the
Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, nos. 253-5, and in L.S. Perry in Chinese Snuff Bottles.
The Adventures and Studies of a Collector, p. 77, no. 51.
1790–1840

The Meriem Collection. Lot 641

Hugh Moss |