An agate ‘peanut and jujube’ snuff bottle

18th/19th century

the well hollowed jujube-shaped bottle crisply carved in high relief with peanuts utilizing the caramel-brown areas of the stone, the base carved with two prunus blossoms to form a foot, the translucent stone of amber tone and incised with fine vertical lines, carnelian stopper

height 5.5 cm without stopper

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

Carved from a specific type of chalcedony, this bottle of naturalistic design belongs to a group   of bottles attributed to the Official School. A similar bottle in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is   illustrated in ‘Snuff Bottles, The Complete Collection of the Palace Museum’, Hong Kong, 2003, pl. 255, and another one, in B. Stevens ‘The Collector’s Book of Snuff Bottles’, New York, 1976, pl. 479.

The combination of peanuts (huasheng) and jujube (zaozi), suggests the expression ‘May you soon give birth to a distinguished son’  (zaosheng guizi).


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