Meriem Collection Sale One / 698

The Meriem Collection. Lot 698

Previous | Thumbnails | Next
Click on the image below for a close up
 

**A RARE ENAMELED WHITE GLASS SNUFF BOTTLE
IMPERIAL, PALACE WORKSHOPS, BEIJING, QIANLONG FOUR-CHARACTER MARK IN BLACK ENAMEL SEAL SCRIPT AND OF THE PERIOD, 1767-1770
The milky-white glass bottle of flattened spherical form tapering to a waisted neck
with a flat lip and with a flat oval foot, finely painted in delicate shades of green,
yellow, iron-red and black enamels with a flowering lotus plant on one side and a
flowering chrysanthemum stem with one detached leaf on the reverse, each paired with
a couplet and seal inscribed in dark iron-red seal script, the seals together reading Guyue
(Ancient Moon) all below a yellow band bordered in iron-red encircling the waisted
neck on which the four-character mark Qianlong nian zhi (Made in the Qianlong
period) is written in black seal script between iron-red kui dragons, the base inscribed
in iron-red regular script Guyue Xuan (Ancient Moon Pavilion), tourmaline stopper
with gilt-silver collar
6 cm. high
$16,000-22,000

See lot 680 for a discussion on the Guyue Xuan (Ancient Moon Pavilion). Early Guyue xuan bottles
are characterized stylistically by simple, flora (usually lotus) designs with pink blooms outlined in
iron-red and green leaves delineated in black enamel, with, sometimes, a butterfly. They are often
accompanied by iron-red inscriptions, usually in regular script.

Various poems appear, and some are repeated frequently, mostly on the subject of lotus, including
one famous ode to the flower by the Tang poet, Li Bai. Several from the very early years following
the completion of the Guyue Xuan have two marks - a four-character Qianlong mark, either around
the neck, or as part of the decoration on one main side, and a Guyue Xuan mark on the base, as is
the case with this lot. An example from the Bloch Collection has a four-character Qianlong reign
mark in blue roundels around the neck and the standard Guyue Xuan mark on the foot.

The couplets may be translated as:

“An aid to the virtue of a noble man
It is as pure as the air the ancients cultivated
Fragrance dancing, it is something from beyond the wind,
So we suspect it is an illusion gone back to the moon.”

For a further discussion of this important early group of Palace enameled Guyue Xuan wares
produced at Court, see H. Moss, “Mysteries of the Ancient Moon”, JICSBS, Spring 2006.

The Meriem Collection. Lot 698

Hugh Moss |