A carved yellow-glazed 'dragon' snuff bottle Wang Bingrong seal mark, circa 1820-1870 (2)

A carved yellow-glazed 'dragon' snuff bottle Wang Bingrong seal mark, circa 1820-1870 (2)

Lot 8. A carved yellow-glazed 'dragon' snuff bottle, Wang Bingrong seal mark, circa 1820-1870; 6.1cm (2 3/8in) highEstimate HK$ 40,000 - 60,000 (€4,600 - 6,900).Sold for HK$ 312,500 (€ 37,333). Photo: Bonhams.

Of flattened rectangular form above an oval foot rising to a short straight neck, one side decorated with a large scaly dragon in mid-flight pursuing a flaming pearl, worked in high relief above a pierced ground of fiery clouds, the base incised with a four-character zhuanshu mark, with stopper (2).

Property from the Hans Goldstein Collection of Chinese Art.

ProvenanceAccording to the family, acquired by Hans Goldstein probably between 1948-1981 and thence by descent

Note: Wang Bingrong, active during the Daoguang and Xianfeng periods, was one of the finest of a small group of independent ceramicists in Jingdezhen of the period. At that time, the porcelain industry initiated carving on snuff bottles as a diversification from using earlier practices of moulding. The uniformity and depth of the reticulation between the outer and inner layers, as exemplified by the present lot, can only be achieved by careful and steady carving.

Dragons were among Wang's most popular designs, although this particular composition is arguably among his rarer works. Compare a related yellow-glazed snuff bottle, illustrated by H.Moss, V.Graham and K.B.Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles. The Mary and George Bloch Collection. Vol.6. Part 3. Arts of the Fire, Hong Kong, 2008, pp.771-773, no.1357. For two further 'dragon' snuff bottle examples, in yellowish-cream glaze and in green-glaze, respectively, see B.C.Stevens, The Collector's Book of Snuff Bottles, New York, 1994, p.93, nos.263 and 265. 

Compare a dark brown-glazed snuff bottle, also by Wang Bingrong and with a seal mark, sold in our New York rooms, 17 March 2014, lot 8031.