An enamelled porcelain reclining lady snuff bottle, 1795-1820. Attributed to Jingdezhen. photo courtesy Sotheby's
painted in famille-rose enamels, the bottle molded in the form of a reclining lady, her head resting on her right hand, while her left arm extends to reach her upraised left leg, both wrists with gilt bangles, her pale face gazing upward, her hair pulled high into a chignon and accessorized with two flowers, dressed in a yellow-ground robe decorated with floral medallions, over loose white pants cascading over her red 'lotus' shoes, one shoe the original stopper; length 3 3/8 in., 8.6 cm. Estimate 60,000—90,000 USD. Lot Sold 60,000 USD
PROVENANCE: Sotheby's Hong Kong, 28th April 1993, lot 488 and front cover.
LITERATURE AND REFERENCES: Patrick K. M. Kwok, 'The Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles', Arts of Asia, November-December 1993, p. 95, no. 36.
Sotheby's Hong Kong Twenty Years, Hong Kong, 1993, p. 278, fig. 454.
Vanessa F. Holden, 'The Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles', Oriental Art, 2002, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 65-72, fig. 34.
Sotheby's Thirty Years in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2003, p. 379, fig. 467.
NOTE: The Jiaqing period was a time of both consolidation and innovation. During the preceding years, porcelain snuff bottles had been produced predominately at the Imperial kilns at Jingdezhen. As the habit of snuff taking became more popular, the demand from outside the Palace multiplied and the potters began to produce new and exciting forms with the manufacturing knowledge they already had. One of the best of these in terms of quality was the group of reclining ladies. In style, they differed strongly from the exquisite standing Imperial porcelain figures of the eighteenth century and seem to have had no precursor other than a tentative influence of the reclining naked females in ivory used as 'physician's models'.
For similar examples, one also with a 'lotus foot' stopper is illustrated by R.W.L. Kleiner, Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of John Ault, Hong Kong, 1990, no. 135. Two are illustrated in Michael C. Hughes, The Blair Bequest: Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Princeton University Art Museum, Baltimore, 2002, pp. 218-219, pls. 297-299. Another modeled in the same pose is illustrated by Hugh Moss, Chinese Snuff Bottles: 5, May 1969, p. 63, fig. 55.
Sotheby's. The Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles, 14 Sep 10, New York www.sothebys.com.