A well-carved brown and pale greenish-white jade 'carp' snuff bottle, 1789-1850. Estimate $10,000 – $12,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2015
The bottle is finely carved with three entwined fish. The tail of the pale greenish-white fish continues under the tail of one of the brown flanking fish onto the reverse, while the tail of the third brown fish continues onto the shoulder where it wraps around the neck. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm.) high, glass stopper
Provenance: Sara Jo and Arthur Kobacker Collection, no. 62.
Robert Hall, London, 2011.
Ruth and Carl Barron Collection, Belmont, Massachusetts, no. 5205.
Notes: This bottle belongs to a range of bottles, mostly in agate or jade, which are all inspired by the same idea of intertwined fish, using the natural markings in the material to considerable and inventive advantage. The group is discussed by H. Moss in Chinese Snuff Bottles of the Silica or Quartz Group, London, 1971, p. 83, nos. 214 and 215 and again by Moss, Graham, Tsang, The Art of the Chinese Snuff Bottle. The J & J Collection, Hong Kong, 1993, Volume I, p. 254, no. 158. Many bottles of this group seem to be from the same lapidary workshop. Particularly noteworthy on the present example are the feather-like tails of the fish, which are finely ridged, cleverly woven through the design and subtly wound around the neck of the bottle.
Christie's. THE RUTH AND CARL BARRON COLLECTION OF FINE CHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES: PART I, 16 September 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza