Very Large Antique Chinese Enamel on Gilt Metal Large Master Snuff Bottle with Go Players
The gilt metal is quite heavy and strong so is probably an alloy of copper and silver (it does not test positive for sterling silver).
The amazing subject matter consists of several elements. On the front and back there are two cartouches encircling an outdoor scene of two 'Go' players at the game with a child-like figure in the foreground. The background is full of raised cloud forms and a tree that appears to have gingko leaves and plums. The back and front are very similar with the robed players reversed. The areas on the outside of the cartouches are decorated with bamboo leaves and flowers.
All of the enamelled areas are raised from the body and are done in vivid shades of blue and plum. The overall composition is extremely well-balanced and pleasing to the eye. The shoulders are decorated with two protective fu dog lions.
The studded stopper has a long spoon that is highly polished gold (probably the color the outside was when new 100 years ago but remains untarnished because it was inside the bottle). The long spoon measures 6 1/2".
The bottle is firmly affixed to the base. The base is of metal that has been modeled to appear like wood - even down to distress marks and graining. Impressed on the bottom of the flat base is the word 'China' (appears impressed twice but only shows in photo once). It is shaped to resemble a stylized lotus flower. The metal has been patinated to resemble wood or bronze as it is a deep brown color.
The overall condition is excellent for its age. It does have a few enamel rubs but amazingly the vast majority of the enamel work is in superb condition. The rubs appear mainly on the foo dogs on the shoulders and in a couple of other high points and in the tree trunk described next. In addition, the only other condition issue is that on one side (the side where the maroon colored robed man is on the left) there is a very shallow dent by the upper third of the tree trunk. Try as we might, it was impossible to photograph the dent! That's why we are emphasizing it verbally here.
This is an extraordinary specimen of the later 'export' period from the late 1800s through 1920. it is expertly designed and crafted.
Item ID: twt3072
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Deerfield Beach, FL
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