Meriem Collection Sale One / 703

The Meriem Collection. Lot 703

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**A RARE THREE-COLOR AGATE PEBBLE-FORM SNUFF BOTTLE
1760-1860
Of flattened ovoid form with concave oval foot, one side artfully carved through the
green and white areas to the semi-translucent pale greyish-white stone with a gnarled
pine tree with clusters of green needles growing amidst rocks and lingzhi which
continue slightly onto the otherwise plain reverse, tourmaline stopper with gilt-metal
collar
6 cm. high
$8,000-12,000

P R O V E N A N C E :
Harriet Morse Hamilton.
The Chimiles collection.
Hugh Moss Ltd.
L I T E R A T U R E :
Harriet Morse Hamilton, Oriental Snuff Bottles, no. 159.

This belongs to a small group of very similar bottles all made from the same distinctive material.
The unique material and the style of carving employed in this group of bottles suggest carvings
from a single workshop, and possibly even a single hand. The anonymous carver was a master
of imaginative use of natural markings in stone, and a technically impressive carver. See similar
examples including one with red-eyed cranes in the collection of Mary and George Bloch, illustrated
by Moss, Graham, Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Vol. 2, Quartz, no. 332; another
illustrated by Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection,
no. 159; a third in B. Stevens, The Collector’s Book of Snuff Bottles, no. 585; one in the collection
of the Marquess of Exeter, illustrated by H. Moss, Chinese Snuff Bottles No. 6, Q. 60; another
formerly from the Reif Collection and sold in these rooms, 18 October 1993, lot 152; and another
sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 5 May 1994, lot 1405.

The subject of the pine tree is the common thread in the series, with the green “skin” of the
material used to form clusters of pine needles, which are carved with radiating incisions dotted
with small, randomly placed circular depressions. The rock formations are depicted by simple
incised linear frames outlining the overlapping angular, jutting forms.
1760–1860

The Meriem Collection. Lot 703

Hugh Moss |