Meriem Collection Sale One / 648

The Meriem Collection. Lot 648

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AN INSIDE-PAINTED CRYSTAL SNUFF BOTTLE
SIGNED YE ZHONGSAN, BEIJING, DATED THE NINTH MONTH OF THE BINGSHEN YEAR,
CORRESPONDING TO 1896
Of rounded-rectangular form with flat lip and recessed foot surrounded by a footrim,
painted with a continuous scene of boys at play in a garden edged with ornamental
rocks and banana trees, on one main side a group of boys holding hands in a ring
broken by one who has fallen down, the reverse depicting boys catching and playing
with crickets, inscribed in running script “made at the capital, in the chrysanthemum
(ninth) month of the cyclical year bingshen (corresponding to 1896) by Ye Zhongshan”,
with the seal Huayin (painting seal), coral stopper with mother-of-pearl finial and vinyl
collar
6.7 cm. high
$10,000-15,000

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, Vancouver, 1992.
L I T E R A T U R E :
JICSBS, Autumn 1982, p. 18, figs. 27 and 27A.

Ye began painting his well-known children subjects in 1896 and continued to do so throughout his
career. The subject conveys a desire for male progeny, and carries a blessing for abundant
descendents. It is interesting to note that the cricket “cages” are of a particularly northern variety,
made up of a broad, cylindrical container made of fired clay with a heavy, flat lid. Another bottle by
Ye Zhongsan with this motif is in the Bloch Collection, illustrated by Moss, Graham, Tsang, A
Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 4, Inside-Painted, no. 510. Others are in the collection of
Edward Choate O’Dell, illustrated by J. Ford in Chinese Snuff Bottles. The Edward Choate O’Dell
Collection, p. 73, no. 194; R. Kleiner, Chinese Snuff Bottles. The White Wings Collection, p. 260,
no. 179; and C. Lawrence, Miniature Masterpieces from the Middle Kingdom. The Monimar
Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles, pp. 284-5, no. 136. Another example, dated to 1897, is
illustrated in the catalogue, Hugh M. Moss Limited, An Exhibition of Chinese Snuff Bottles, June
1970, p. 88, no. 367, where it is noted that the seal Huayin is mentioned by S. Cammann in
“Chinese Inside Painted Snuff Bottles and Their Makers” in the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
HJAS 20 (1957), pp. 295-326, where the author states that this seal only appears on works by Ye
Zhongsan himself, and never on his son’s paintings.
1896

The Meriem Collection. Lot 648

Hugh Moss |