Meriem Collection Sale One / 647

The Meriem Collection. Lot 647

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**A CARVED BLACK JADE SNUFF BOTTLE
1740-1850
Of compressed spherical form with flat lip and recessed foot surrounded by an oval
footrim, carved in relief on the narrow sides with mask-and-ring handles,
tourmaline stopper with gilt-metal collar
5.7 cm. high
$6,000-8,000

P R O V E N A N C E :
Hugh Moss Ltd.
E X H I B I T E D :
Canadian Craft Museum, Toronto, 1992.

The jet-black intensity of the material links this example to three others in similar black
nephrite, all of which are extremely well hollowed and carved with perfect symmetry.
Compare two in the collection of Mary and George Bloch, illustrated by Moss, Graham,
Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 1, Jade, nos. 160 and 161; and a third in
the J & J Collection (see Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The
J & J Collection, no. 58.)

Intensely black jade is sometimes found as a skin-color on pebbles of nephrite, but in this
case the stone is black through and through. Black jade is relatively rare and was highly
valued, and used in the Qing dynasty, particularly at Suzhou, for a range of snuff bottles
where the black is contrasted with grey or white layers. This stunning example of completely
flawless, jet-black nephrite would have appealed to Qing taste in jade. The classic form of the
bottle is simply decorated with two mask-and-ring handles, raising the probability that it was
made for a northern, possibly courtly, audience.

See a jet bottle of similar form, formerly from the collection of Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Weisz,
illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Robert Hall, Chinese Snuff Bottles III, p. 140, no. 83.
1740–1850

The Meriem Collection. Lot 647

Hugh Moss |