A very fine small famille rose-enamelled glass bottle. Early 20th century, attributed to Ye Bengqi
The globular body supported on a short straight-cut foot and with a cylindrical neck ending in a gently flaring rim, brightly enamelled around the exterior with large rose blooms and daylillies issuing from elaborate rockwork and two small birds perched on a delicately enamelled branch, all below three flying insects around the neck, the base with a Qianlong blue-enamel four-character mark. 3½ in. (9 cm.) high. Estimate £18,000 - £22,000 - Price realised : £22,500
Notes: This delicately enamelled glass bottle appears to reflect the mastery of Ye Bengqi's work. The carefully painted rockwork, combined with the flying insects and depiction of the flowers are all characteristic of his work
Ye Bengqi was a member of a family of four, best known for their skills at painting inside snuff bottles. According to Robert W. L. Kleiner, Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Mary and George Bloch Collection, p. 23, Hugh Moss learned in an interview with Ye Bengqi in Beijing in 1974 that the brothers used to visit the Beijing Museum and memorize the patterns depicted on the authentic glass bottles and wares on display. For a lengthy discussion of this group of enamelled wares, produced by the Ye family at Beijing, see H. Moss, The Apricot Grove Studio, Part III: Enamelled Glass Wares, JICSBS, 1985, pp. 116-30, where similar examples are illustrated. See also Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, no.205 for a discussion of Ye Bengqi's talents as a copyist.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art including Export Art. 12 May 2009. London, King Street www.christies.com