Organic Snuff Bottles


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Imperial ivory snuff bottle with reticulated carving of a full-faced coiled dragon, a flaming pearl and clouds on both the front and the reverse. Francine and Bernard Wald Collection.

Mother-of-pearl snuff bottle with a seated monkey, a pair of bats, and a squirrel hanging on a grapevine, 19th century. Royal Ontario Museum.

Bone, ivory and black lacquer; of tapering rectangular form with a hexagonal horizontal section, the shoulders with formalized leiwen (‘thunder pattern’) borders; on one main side a woman and child in a tend, with a camel tethered to a post beyond.

Variegated, pale coral; of compressed ovoid form; carved with a continuous design of two rocks rising from turbulent waves, one with pine-needle clusters at its base, with two bats flying amid formalized clouds.

Gourd and ivory; moulded in four main sections, two on each main side, each with a different auspicious motif, one with a flying bat, one with a spray of cherries, one with a fan, and one with a beribboned, hanging musical chime.

Hornbill casque, of pale, creamy-yellow and vermillion colour; carved on the narrow sides, using the red sheath of the casque as a relief cameo, with mask and ring handles

Ivory, of even, pale cream colour, the interior patinated to a darker brown; of meiping (‘prunus-blossom vase’) form with a cylindrical neck, wide mouth, flat lip and concave circular foot surrounded by a flat footrim

Cinnabar-red lacquer and gilt-bronze; carved in varying relief with two rocky landscape scenes with a maple and other trees and foliage treated as a continuous design, one main side with five children, three playing kick-ball, the other two watching.

Translucent, variegated yellow and orange amber (of the variety known as ‘Baltic amber’); carved in the form of a double-gourd its surface carved in varying relief with eight further double-gourds growing from a severed, leafy vine

Mottle ochre and brown amber of the variety known as ‘root amber’; carved on the narrow sides with mask and ring handles, one main side inscribed in bronze-script with a five-character inscription

Transparent, golden-brown amber with some age crizzling; carved in relief on one main side with two children on a grassy ground, one standing holding a vase of flowers and a fruit (?).

Gourd and ivory; the gourd compressed in growth between two pieces of wood to flatten the two sides, with a third piece to flatten the foot, the neck made of ivory