Lot 410. An underglaze blue and famille rose porcelain 'pocket watch' snuff bottle, Jingdezhen kilns, 1780-1799. Estimate USD 6,000 - USD 8,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2016.

Each convex side is molded and painted in black as the face of a watch, with the 'metal hands' encircled by the minutes in Roman and Arabic numerals, enclosed by underglaze blue and gilt lotus scroll, with molded mask and ring handles on the shoulders above a small floral-filled medallion. The base is inscribed with a Qianlong seal mark in iron red enamel. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm.) high, metal stopper with shell finial

ProvenanceHugh Moss (HK) Ltd., Hong Kong, 2006.
Ruth and Carl Barron Collection, Belmont, Massachusetts, no. 4360.

ExhibitedBoston, International Chinese Snuff Bottle Convention, The Barron Collection, 23-26 September 2008.

NotesA watch-form bottle of the same mold, but decorated only with the watch face, was sold in The Ruth and Carl Barron Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles: Part I; Christie's New York, 16 September 2015, lot 331.

The design of this bottle is based on a European pocket watch. European watches were probably introduced at Court by the Jesuits and gathered much favor from the Kangxi period onwards. The fascination with them quickly spread into the production of snuff bottles in glass, enamel and porcelain.

Christie's. The Ruth and Carl Barron Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles: Part III, 14 September 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza