CARVED JADE SNUFF BOTTLE
QING DYNASTY, 1740-1850
5.6 cm high (without stopper)
The rounded bottle stands on a foot rim rising to sloping shoulders and neck with concave mouth. The shoulders are carved with well defined animal ring handles. The jade is of pale greyish tone with caramel-brown areas creating a warm feel to the overall stone. The modern blue glass stopper is mounted with a gilt metal collar.
Formerly in a French private collection, acquired in China in the 1930s
Animal mask handles were highly favoured by the Qing imperial court. Their inspiration was formed by bronze vessels of earlier periods, particularly Archaic bronzes with their taotie motifs. It has been suggested that the distinctive style of animal heads seen on the present bottle is unique to the Master of the Rocks school. For a discussion on this subject, see: Hugh Moss, Victor Graham, Ka Bo Tsang, The Mary and George Bloch Collection: A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Volume 1, Jade, Hong Kong, 1995, ps 368-369.