A cinnabar-lacquered bronze snuff bottle

18th/19th century

the compressed shield-shaped bottle finely carved on one side with two children playing with fans on a terrace, the other side with two dancing figures beneath a pine tree growing from rockwork, each scene reserved against two different diaper grounds, the narrow sides carved with mask-and-ring handles below a ruyi-head band around the shoulders and a key-fret border around the neck, the flat black-lacquered base surrounded by a petal border, gilt-bronze stopper

height 5 cm without stopper

from a Dutch private collection acquired prior to the 1980’s

This well carved bottle is inspired by a group of eighteenth century bottles produced for the Court. Due to its unusual compressed shape, its heavy bronze body, and the elaborate mask-and-ring handles, one may speculate that this bottle is Japanese, in direct imitation of the eighteenth century Chinese prototype.

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