Paysage

A 'Puddingstone' snuff bottle, 1750-1820. photo courtesy Sotheby's

very well hollowed, of rounded form supported on a neatly carved oval footrim, below a cylindrical neck, the shoulders with well carved lions-head suspending mock ring-handles, the stone with irregular splashes of ochre and brown within a gray matrix; height 1 7/8 in., 1.9 cm - Estimate 12,000 - 18,000 USD

PROVENANCE: The Kaynes-Klitz Collection.

Sotheby's Hong Kong, 16th November 1989, lot 83.

LITTERATURE: Patrick K. M. Kwok, 'The Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles', Arts of Asia, November-December 1993, p. 96, no. 40.

NOTE: Puddingstone snuff bottles are rarely carved on their outer surface, as most are left plain. The lions-mask handles on this bottle are beautifully rendered and the hollowing of the interior is superb. The carver managed to elevate the  artistry of this bottle to a level unmatched by others in its category.

According to Bob C. Stevens in The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, New York and Tokyo, 1976, puddingstones are 'conglomerates of sedimentary rocks, composed of a cementing matrix holding numerous rounded pebbles,  which vary in size, shape, color, textures, hardness, and mineral content.' He illustrates a puddingstone bottle, also carved with mask and mock-ring handles, op.cit., p. 167, fig. 618.

Clare Lawrence, in her discussion of a puddingstone bottle in the Monimar Collection, Miniature Masterpieces from the Middle Kingdom: The Monimar Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles. London, 1996, p. 107, states that 'Western collectors have traditionally found "puddingstone" bottles to be most attractive if the irregular pebbles in the matrix are of a larger size.' The present bottle is an outstanding representation of this type.

1

A fossiliferous limestone snuff bottle, 1750-1800. photo courtesy Sotheby's

of elegant tapering ovoid form with a cylindrical neck, the oval footrim neatly carved, the stone of a pale-gray color with a honeycomb pattern, one face with dramatic black inclusions, a black streak wrapping faintly around to the bottom of the reverse; height 2 1/2 in., 6.4 cm - Estimate 8,000 - 12,000 USD

PROVENANCE: Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd.

758646_view_2003_03

A mammoth tooth snuff bottle. 1780-1860. photo courtesy Sotheby's

of bulbous rounded form, with shoulders sloping to a cylindrical neck and with a neatly carved oval footrim, the well-patinated material with a natural pattern of cream, gray and white horizontal crystalline bands. height 2 5/8 in., 6.7 cm - Estimate 8,000 - 12,000 USD

PROVENANCE: Robert Hall.

NOTE: Bob C. Stevens, in The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, New York and Tokyo, 1976, nos. 682 and 1020 illustrates two mammoth tooth bottles; and for a bottle with the material using the banding vertically see Robert Kleiner, Treasures from the Sanctum of Enlightened Respect, Singapore, 1999, p. 262, no. 223. A mammoth tooth bottle of similar form and coloration to the present example was in The Blanche B. Exstein Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles, sold at Christie's New York, 21st March 2002, lot 91.

761135

A fossiliferous limestone snuff bottle. 1780-1860. photo courtesy Sotheby's

the brick-red stone with irregularly shaped white and gray chips, well hollowed, of flattened rounded form with a flat base and cylindrical neck; height 2 1/8 in., 5.4 cm - Estimate 8,000 - 12,000 USD

PROVENANCE: The Collection of Eric Young.

The Collection of Bob C. Stevens.

Sotheby's Hong Kong, 28th October 1993, lot 1111.

EXHIBITION: Chinese Snuff Bottles and Dishes. An Exhibition of Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Bob C. Stevens Collection at Mikimoto Hall, Ginza, Tokyo, 22nd-31st October 1978, cat.no. 252.

765008

A fossiliferous limestone snuff bottle. 1780-1860. photo courtesy Sotheby's

of truncated baluster form resting on a short and well-carved footrim, below a waisted neck, the russet stone suffused with a dramatic effect of white streak-like and circular inclusions; height 1 7/8 in., 4.8 cm - Estimate 8,000 - 12,000 USD

PROVENANCE: The Alexander Brody Collection.

Clare Lawrence Ltd.

LITTERATURE: Clare Lawrence, The Alexander Brody Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles, London, 1995, p. 27, fig. 34.

NOTE: It is rare to find a hardstone snuff bottle of this globular baluster shape. For examples with this color combination, a rectangular-shaped bottle is illustrated in Bob C. Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, New York, 1980, fig. 666., p. 173; and an oval-shaped bottle in the collection of Denis Low is illustrated in Robert Kleiner, Treasures from the Sanctum of Enlightened Respect, Hong Kong, 1999, fig. 202, p. 235.

765211

An amygdaloidal basalt snuff bottle. 1780-1850. photo courtesy Sotheby's

of flattened rectangular shape, supported on an oval footrim, the gently sloping shoulders rising to a cylindrical neck, the black stone suffused with green splash-like inclusions; height 2 3/8 in., 8.6 cm - Estimate 8,000 - 12,000 USD

PROVENANCE: The Collection of Mrs. B. Hampton.

Robert Kleiner.

NOTE: Amygdaloidal basalt is also referred to as volcanic puddingstone. According to Bob C. Stevens in The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, New York and Tokyo, 1980, p. 159, it 'is a conglomerate made of cinders, ash, broken fragments (breccias), and epidote (a green mineral), all intermixed with lava.' A similarly shaped bottle is illustrated in Stevens, op.cit., fig. 658. Another rectangular shaped bottle in The Victoria and Albert Museum Collection, is illustrated in Helen White, Snuff Bottles from China, London, 1992, fig. 2, pp. 120-121.

3_Achraf_20Touloub

A fossiliferous limestone snuff bottle, 1750-1860 photo courtesy Sotheby's

of upright rectangular shape with rounded shoulders, resting atop a neatly carved footrim, the stone with an array of mushroompatterned inclusions within a honeycomb network, of black, white and gray color; height 2 1/8 in., 5.4 cm - Estimate 6,000 - 9,000 USD

PROVENANCE: The Ko Family Collection.
Christie's London, 10th June 1974, lot 155.

Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd.

765008_view_2002_02

A limestone snuff bottle, 1750-1880. photo courtesy Sotheby's

of slightly compressed spherical form, with rounded shoulders sloping to a cylindrical neck and with a neatly carved footrim, the well-hollowed stone with attractive bands of beige, white, russet and gray suggestive of a landscape; height 2 1/8 in., 5.4 cm - Estimate 5,000 - 8,000 USD

PROVENANCE: Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd.

765174

A hair chrystal snuff bottle, 1740-1880. photo courtesy Sotheby's

of flattened shield shape, with waisted neck and flat oval foot, the well hollowed stone densely and evenly suffused with fine black tourmaline needles; ; height 2 3/4 in., 7 cm - Estimate 5,000 - 8,000 USD

PROVENANCE: Kardos Collection.

Sotheby's New York, 1st July 1985, lot 84.

EXHIBITION: 'Chinese Snuff Bottles. An Exhibition from British Columbian Collectors Presented by the Canadian Society for Asian Arts', Vancouver Centennial Museum, Vancouver, Canada, October 1977.

Sotheby's. The Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles, New York, 14 Sep 2010