NEW YORK, NY.- New York –Asia Week 2015 at Bonhams New York will begin with a specially curated 100 lot-strong sale of snuff bottles from the Barbara and Marvin Dicker Collection on March 16 at 10am at Bonhams New York.

Barbara and Marvin Dicker began collecting snuff bottles in the early 1980s fascinated by their intricate carvings, the natural materials, and the symbolism. Their collection of glass overlays, ceramics, jade and more showcases strong examples of expert carving and intricate decoration, and presents a variety of natural forms and colors that are rare to find in the current market.

Among the highlights are:

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An well-carved cameo agate snuff bottle, Suzhou School, 1780-1860. Estimate $8,000 - 12,000 (€7,100 - 11,000). Photo: Bonhams.

Of compressed, high-shouldered ovoid form with a waisted neck, flat lip and foot, the translucent gray and russet-toned matrix skillfully carved in high relief, utilizing the dark markings, depicting Liu Hai carrying a double-gourd and broom with a three-legged toad behind him under a bat in flight, all within a continuous serrated rocky setting accented by pine trees. 2 1/16in (5.2cm) high

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A yellow jade snuff bottle, 1750-1820. Estimate $8,000 - 10,000 (€7,100 - 8,900). Photo: Bonhams.

Well-hollowed, of rounded rectangular form, rising from a fine oval foot ring to a cylindrical neck, flat lip, the narrow sides flanked by a pair of well-defined lion mask-and-ring handles; the soft-hued yellowish stone with a faint green tinge, marked with an off-white patch to one side. 2 1/4in (5.7cm) high

The Dickers were particularly fond of their jade bottles and this one is a fine example. It is a rare piece because of the unique color—the hue of yellow that the Chinese call “steamed chestnuts” and find incredibly attractive. Jade snuff bottles are appreciated for their tactile quality; the way the bottle feels is as important as how it looks. This bottle is very well-hollowed and, aside from the lion-mask-and-ring handles, is left plain.

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An enameled and slip-decorated Yixing snuff bottle, 1800-1880. Estimate $5,000 - 7,000 (€4,400 - 6,200). Photo: Bonhams.

Of rounded rectangular form with a cylindrical neck, flat lip, slightly splayed oval foot ring, each side with a recessed panel decorated with a slip design, one depicting two Pekinese frolicking beneath flowers issuing from rockwork, the reverse side featuring two doves in a garden with ornamental rocks, bamboo, and a butterfly in flight, all set against a ground covered with cobalt blue enamel except the mouth and foot rims. 2 1/2in (6.4cm) high 

Good Yixing snuff bottles are quite popular on the market and becoming quite scarce, particularly bottles with such a high quality slip decoration, which makes this piece a rare find. 

Paired dogs and doves, like other paired creatures, suggest conjugal bliss. Similar subjects are seen on porcelain wares of the Qing dynasty as well. Other Yixing bottles of this design include two illustrated by Bob C. Stevens, The Collectors' Book of Snuff Bottles, John Weatherhill, Inc., New York, 1976, pp. 102-103, nos. 334, 335, and 336, and one illustrated by R. Kleiner, Chinese Snuff Bottles in the Collection of Mary and George Bloch, published to accompany an exhibition at the British Museum, June 20th-October 15th 1995, p. 369, no. 241. A Yixing bottle in this series with enameled decoration, but with landscape scenes set within a blue-enameled surround, and impressed with a cyclical date, jiyu(1849) is illustrated in An Imperial Qing Tradition, Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Humphrey K. F, Hui and Christopher C. H. Sin, no. 46.

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A finely carved duanstone snuff bottle, 1750-1800. Estimate $4,000 - 6,000 (€3,500 - 5,300). Photo: Bonhams.

Very well-hollowed, its gently tapering body rising to a sensitively waisted neck, thin lip, flat oval foot, cleverly and skillfully utilizing the pale green and beige layers in the dark brown stone, carved in relief within rounded rectangular panels, one side depicting a figure holding a hoe and a basket over his shoulder, walking near overhanging rocks issuing pines, the reverse featuring a similar landscape with an auspicious crane and a recumbent deer. 2 3/8in (5.6cm)

It is a very rare and unique piece because the stone displays a blend of not two but three natural colors- dark brown, pale green, and beige ochre.

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A fine agate snuff bottle with figural decoration, Official School, 1780-1860Estimate $3,000 - 5,000 (€2,700 - 4,400). Photo: Bonhams.

Well-hollowed, of flattened spherical form with a cylindrical neck, concave lip, oval foot ring, cleverly designed based on the color variations of the stone, one side finely carved in relief utilizing the opaque white layer presenting two seated scholars playing weiqi, the reverse left undecorated to accentuate the attractive gray-toned stone. 2 3/8in (6.1cm) high

The attractive grey stone is well-hollowed out and represents the Qing dynasty artisans' outstanding skill in editing the natural colors of a remarkable piece of stone.

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An silhouette agate snuff bottle, 1750-1860. Estimate $3,000 - 5,000 (€2,700 - 4,400). Photo: Bonhams.

Well-hollowed, the rounded square bottle supported on an oval foot ring, rising to a very slightly waisted neck, flat lip, applying the natural markings of dark brown and pale gray against the warm honey ground depicting a bearded foreigner carrying a sack and basket walking in an open land with masses of clouds. 2 1/2in (6.4cm) high

Dessa Goddard, Vice President and Director of Asian Art at Bonhams says, "Bonhams is delighted to present the snuff bottle collection of Barbara and Marvin Dicker during New York Asia Week, maintaining our position as a market leader in the sale of fine private collections of snuff bottles to the international collecting community.

The auction will begin at 10 am.