An amber snuff bottle, 1730-1795. Imperial, attributed to the Palace workshops, Beijing. photo courtesy Sotheby's
of bulbous rounded form, of transparent dark honey-brown color, superbly hollowed and finely carved with two qilong flying amongst dense cloud scrolls, the tail of one dragon curled around to form the footrim; height 2 in., 5.1 cm. Estimate 25,000—35,000 USD. Lot Sold 62,500 USD
PROVENANCE: Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd.
LITERATURE AND REFERENCES: Vanessa F. Holden, 'The Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles', Oriental Art, 2002, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 65-72, fig. 26.
NOTE: An 18th century amber colored glass snuff bottle, attributed to the Palace Workshops, Beijing, carved with an identical design to the present example, even in the placing of the dragons and clouds and the foot formed by a curled dragon tail, was in the Collection of Gerd Lester, sold in these rooms, 17th September 1996, lot 180. The collection of Joseph B. Silver houses a white jade example, also considered to be 18th century and attributed to the Palace Workshops, with the same design as the present amber example. Clare Chu has suggested that given closely comparable bottles appearing in different materials, all of which were utilized in the Palace Workshops and which appear on other imperially attributed jade pieces, it is probable that the Zaobanchu, the Imperial Household Department was responsible for ordering these bottles.
Sotheby's. The Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles, 14 Sep 10, New York www.sothebys.com.