Lot 5059. A rare burlwood snuff bottle, Qing dynasty, late 18th century; overall h. 7 cm, 2 3/4  inEstimate 20,000 — 30,000 HKDSold for 25,000 HKD (2,958 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby's.

skilfully hollowed from a naturally formed gnarled section of burl, the vessel carved with a flat rim and resting on a short oval footring, the surface covered with knots of varying sizes and echoed on the stopper similarly carved from the same piece of burl, the bottle and stopper well patinated to a rich russet tone.

Provenance:  Ko Collection, acquired in Ji'nan, Shangdong, 1928.
Christie's London, 9th October 1974, lot 166.
Spink & Son Ltd, London, 1979.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 24th November 2014, lot 90.

LiteratureHugh Moss, Victor Graham and Ka Bo Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection, vol. 7, Hong Kong, 2009, no. 1475.
Bamboo & Wood Carvings of China and the East, Spink & Son Ltd, London, 1979, cat. no. 225.

NoteThis spectacular burlwood bottle is almost entirely natural, with only the base and foot carved. The outer shape of the burl is valued for its irregular, gnarled appearance and dictates both form and decoration to some extent. This treatment of the material is frequently found in Qing dynasty organic works of art China, but rare in snuff bottles.

Sotheby's. EYE/EAST, Hong Kong, 22 May 2020