19c Chinese Ivory Boy Riding Fish SNUFF BOTTLE
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Outstanding Rare 19th Century Chinese Hand Carved Ivory Boy Riding An Oversized Fish Snuff Bottle, measuring 3 inches long with splendid detail an incredible high relief craftsmanship this unusual piece would make a fantastic gift or addition to any fine collection.Snuff Bottle History:In the late Ming Dynasty, 1517-1520, tobacco came as an Imperial Court Tribute from the European powers of Spain and Portugal. Tobacco is native to the Americas but was grown from the 1590s on the island of Luzon in the Spanish occupied Philippines. At first it arrived in China from Europe then from Luzon which is why one name for tobacco in Chinese is 'Golden Luzon Leaf'. The late Ming Dynasty saw tobacco as deleterious to health so it was banned. It was then allowed back after 1644 by the new Qing Dynasty. The Tobacco was ground to a fine powder, herbs added along with essential oils and the result was snuff. Snuff, originally kept in snuff boxes, was soon adapted by the Chinese who used their traditional medicine bottles. Beautiful works were produced during this time made out of ceramic, glass, enamel, ivory, agate etc. Metal ones were made in Tibet. Bottles were carved, painted, overlaid and about 1795 inside painted ones first put in an appearance. After a few years it was observed that the rough inner surface needed to hold the paint was also holding the snuff so from then on it ceased to be practical for holding snuff but became appreciated by collectors as a new medium for original painting. Except for an unexplained break in production from 1850- 1875 it continued at an artwork, not a as a Utilitarian object. Other snuff bottles, however, continued to be used in that function till at least the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. Some crude bottles were made as collectors pieces for ignorant western visitors who started traveling to China in the 1850s, thanks to the new steamship development. In regards to inside painted snuff bottles it has been relatively easy to trace the development of these masterpieces throughout the last 200 years as the artist usually signed and dated each piece. In the late 1870s Zhou Leyuan started painting inside these little bottles. It was profitable and a number of others followed in his footsteps. One of the most important artists was Ye Zhongsan, who with his sons, painted from the early 1890s to the late 1940s. In 1949 the communists took the artists and put them to work teaching students in order not to loose the valuable knowledge. Ye's sons taught Wang Xisan from 1957. He has continued in this tradition and the Xisan Academy produces fine works. It is assumed that the start of painting inside bottles came either from copying Chinese reverse painted export ware, such as mirrors and pictures, produced in Guangzhou (Canton) from the mid 18th century. Another possibility would be copying examples of Bavarian reverse painted bottles in the possession of German Jesuits in China. The first possibility is more logical since we know that the art started in China in 1795.
Shipping:Negotiated with Seller
- Reference #
- Furniture & Furnishings
- 19th Century
- Width: 3 inches
- Height: 0 inch
- Depth: 0 inch
- Weight: 0 pound