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Lot 0125

Transparent glass body with flowing hues of bright carmine red. Translucent olive-green overlay carved to depict a pocket watch. Wide mouth, convex top, slanted lip. Oval raised foot rim. Heart shape.

Provenance: A Hungarian private collection.
Condition: One minuscule nibble to one of the lion masks, otherwise absolutely perfect condition.

Stopper: Hardstone stopper with spoon.
Weight: 28.9 grams.
Dimensions: Height including stopper 48 mm. Diameter neck 15 mm and mouth 7 mm.

This particular copy of a European watch is rather unique in the snuff-bottle world. It may be surprising, given imperial interest in watches and clocks from the Kangxi period onwards, that there are not more imperial snuff bottles of this design from the earlier eighteenth century, but as a general rule, snuff bottles copying watches were made only from the late-Qianlong period onwards, becoming particularly popular during the nineteenth century. Perhaps with the court awash with the real thing, there was little incentive to create exact copies of them on snuff bottles.

The unusual palette of bright carmine red and olive-green gives the decoration a distinct appearance. The numbers shown on the dial are roman and range from I - XII, while the hands show three o'clock sharp on both sides. The shoulders are decorated with neatly carved archaistic lion masks. While it is a remote possibility that the present bottle might have been a direct response from the imperial glassworks to a particular European watch, intended to be presented to the court at some point, it could also very well have been a simple yet clever novelty object for a private audience.

An imperial connection is possible, because a small series of watch-form bottles produced in the late Qianlong period bearing reign marks proves the existence of an imperial interest in the design. A splendid example from the Robert and Molly Hsieh Collection is illustrated in 'The Blair Bequest: Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Princeton University Art Museum' by Michael Hughes, Baltimore, International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society, 2002, no. 282.



瓶蓋:硬石,小勺重量:28.9 克
尺寸:含蓋總高48 毫米;頸部直徑15 毫米;嘴 7 毫米

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Estimate €200 - €400May 11, 2019