Porcelain; decorated in underglaze-blue and white on one side with two crabs and a spray of millet and on the reverse with a pair of magpies perched on the branches of a willow tree, the shoulders moulded with elaborate taotie masks suspending rings, the base inscribed Yun shi zhi, ‘Made by the Rock Weeder’, Jingdezhen kilns.



Chin Hua Galleries, Sydney (1978)


This bottle is the exact pair of another, with the same hall mark, illustrated Chinese Smuff Bottles from the Collection of John Ault, no. 170 and again in Chi Snuff Bottles from the Collection of Anita and Mario Zurrer, no. 174 The two bottles are of unusually fine quality, boldly painted and of the vivid purplish-blue colour favoured by connoisseurs. The moulded taotie masks on the shoulders are a rare detail on moulded porcelain Snuff bottles and might imply a court connection. The compresscd oval body is typical of porcelain snuff bottles made during the Daoguang period.

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