Hand Painted Chinese snuff bottles have been a kind of Chinese art for 200 years. We found this one within a small collection, in a country market in France.
The bottle is a true curiosity. It is heavy and the glass is thick. The image painted on the inside seems to tell a story from the front side to the back. On the front a large, noble man in a red robe sits beside a dragon who rises up out of the stream. Another man in a blue robe seems to be reading from a book. Six men stand behind them, their individual expressions and actions are interesting. On this side, the scene seems to be more meditative and somber.
On the reverse side, The large, noble man is laughing, and accepts beads from a smiling tiger. The man over his left shoulder changes his face, a mask sliding off to the right. Again, the expressions on the faces of the six men in the background are very interesting. A seventh man turns to look at the large mountain in the background.
Both of the scenes are entirely hand painted and the detail is exquisite. The colors are bright and vibrant. Each scene is filled with mystery.
The lid pulls out to reveal a cork with a hand carved ivory spoon attached, for dipping out the snuff.
It is in very good condition. There are no visible chips or cracks. The paintings remain in bright and clear condition, with no visible loss of image quality. The bottle measures:5" tall, 2 5/8" across at the bottom and 1" deep (across the bottom).
It is a true conversation piece, an interesting treasure from Chinese history.
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