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Lot 355. A carved agate snuff bottle, 1780-1850. Estimate USD 5,000 - USD 7,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The bottle is finely carved through variously colored markings of the semi-transparent brownish-grey stone with a spider lowering itself towards rocks from a peach-laden branch on one side, while a long-tailed bird perches beside another peach borne on a branch on the reverse. 2 in. (5.1 cm.) high, glass stopper

ProvenanceAsian Art Studio, Los Angeles, 2011.
Ruth and Carl Barron Collection, Belmont, Massachusetts, no. 5219.

NoteThe common word for spider is zhizhu. In Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Hong Kong, 2006, p. 56, Terese Tse Bartholomew points out that the appearance of a spider indicates a happy event about to transpire, and that the name of the spider is a pun for "know" (zhi), making it a welcome sight to the viewer.

Christie's. The Ruth and Carl Barron Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles: Part IV, 15 March 2017, New York, Rockefeller Center