A fine white nephrite 'brocade-wrapped' snuff bottle. Possibly Imperial, Palace Workshops, Beijing, 1750-1820. Estimate US$ 6,000 - 8,000 (€5,300 - 7,100). Photo Bonhams.
Well-hollowed, of flattened rounded form with a cylindrical neck, flat lip, well-finished oval foot ring, superbly carved in low relief with a brocade sash densely incised with floral diapers within leiwen borders, wrapped around the body of the bottle and gracefully tied to one side with a trailing ribbon over a qin instrument; the evenly-hued translucent stone with a very faint russet strap-shaped inclusions to one side. 2 3/8in (6cm) high
Provenance: Robert Hall, Washington Convention, 27 October 2000
Josef Neumann, Australia
Notes: One can easily sense the tremendous patience and impeccable skills that the artisan applied to the carving of this exquisite bottle: from the deeply hollowed interior to the subtleness and even thickness of the raised work, from every sensitively incised line to the neatly polished rims. Each detail has revealed the outstanding quality the carver has reached in this petite artwork.
The symbolism of the tied brocade has two known indications. Traditionally, favorite objects were wrapped in brocade cloths and often related to imperial subjects. The design also forms a pictorial pun for fu (good fortune and happiness).
Compare a similar jade snuff bottle, with a Qianlong mark, sold in our rooms, New York, 20 March 2012, sale 20211, lot 10. Another nearly identical white jade snuff bottle in the Bloch collection is illustrated A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Moss, Graham and Tsang, Hong Kong, 1998, vol.1 no 27.