Meriem Collection Sale One / 695

The Meriem Collection. Lot 695

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**A FINE AND RARE FIVE-COLOR OVERLAY COLORLESS GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE
PROBABLY IMPERIAL, PROBABLY PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, 1750-1800
Of tapering ovoid form with flat lip, the sides finely carved with five sinuous chi
dragons in pink, blue, yellow, red and green overlay alternately placed with their heads
pointing towards the neck or foot, which has a section of associated color below each
dragon, green glass stopper with gilt-metal collar
6 cm. high
$20,000-30,000

P R O V E N A N C E :
Eric Young.
Sotheby’s, London, 24 April 1989, lot 182.

The different colors on multi-colored overlay bottles can vary from two to as many as ten, although
between two and five is the norm.

The chi dragon was a popular subject for multi-colored overlay glass bottles, with each beast
typically being depicted in a different color. The present example is an extremely rare variant in
having the dragons vertically aligned, suggested the “fluted” effect found on some courtly bottles
from the late Qianlong period. Another rare feature of the present bottle is the division of the
footrim into five segments, each a different color corresponding to the dragon above. With its
imaginative and confident design, this bottle ranks among the finest of the genre.
See also several multi-color overlay glass bottles carved with chi dragons in the collection of Mary
and George Bloch, illustrated by Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 5,
Glass, nos. 978, 981, 984 and 993.
1750–1800

The Meriem Collection. Lot 695

Hugh Moss |