A white nephrite 'silk purse' snuff bottle. Possibly Imperial, Palace Workshops, Beijing, 1780-1850. Estimate US$ 5,000 - 7,000 (€4,400 - 6,200). Photo Bonhams.
Of flattened semi-circular form, expertly carved to the front and reverse in relief with grooves imitating the pleats of a silk purse and gathered at the short neck, each of the narrow sides with a pair of apertures for attachment bordered with symmetrically designed with leafy lotus flowers carved in the Mughal style; the mostly white stone with cloud-like inclusions. 2in (5.1cm) high
Provenance: Christie's New York, 21 March 2002, lot 224
Blanche B. Exstein
Hilda Somers collection, acquired in 1946
Yang & Co., Hong Kong
Notes: Snuff bottles of this design, carved from jade as well as agate, copied the standard pouches or purses worn with official dress at Court. They were probably made at or for the Court, and are both a status symbol and an amusing reference to an official career.