CHRISTIES TO OFFER PART II OF THE MERIEM COLLECTION – A SUPERB ENSEMBLE OF CHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES

. February 17, 2008

New York – After the spectacular results of the sale of the first part of the Meriem Collection in September 2007, which realized $3,988,050, Christie’s will offer Part II of this well-known and exceptionally fine collection. The sale will take place on March 19, will consist of 114 lots and has an overall estimate of $2.3 to 3.1 million.

Among the highlights is an Imperial Beijing enamel ‘European Subject’ snuff bottle, Palace Workshops, Beijing, Qianlong four-character mark in blue enamel and of the period, 1736-1750 (estimate: $250,000-300,000). This exceptional bottle ranks among the finest Imperial painted enamel bottles, a group in which superlative examples are standard. Without question one of the masterpieces of Chinese enameling, the present bottle exemplifies the softness and subtlety that the highly skilled enamellers at the Palace Workshops were able to achieve and is one of only two known examples of this faceted form. Another gem is an exquisite Imperial enamelled glass snuff bottle, Palace Workshops, Beijing, Qianlong four-character mark in blue enamel and of the period, 1750-1770, (estimate: $150,000-200,000). The delicacy in the use of the enamels on glass is a key feature of Palace enameling, allowing for considerable subtlety of expression. Also being offered is an inside-painted crystal snuff bottle, by renowned artist Ma Shaoxuan, Beijing, circa 1900-1920, the bottle 1760-1920 (estimate: $120,000-140,000), bearing a portrait of Zhang Qian (1853-1926), a former associate of Yuan Shikai’s; an Imperial emerald-green and lavender jadeite snuff bottle, Imperial, Palace Workshops, Beijing, 1760-1820 (estimate: $80,000-120,000), which is highly prized as it combines two of the most sought-after colors in a single specimen, while its spectacular carving of one of the most popular courtly subjects, would suggest that it would have been made for Imperial use; and an enamelled porcelain snuff bottle, Imperial, Jingde Zhen kilns, Qianlong fourcharacter seal mark in iron-red and of the period, 1736-1795 (estimate: $80,000-120,000), a rare early example of the later Jiaqing-marked examples of enamelled porcelain snuff bottles.

Mary Margaret Young was the daughter of Earl B. Finning, the founder of Finning Tractor Equipment Co. Ltd and was educated at Pomona College and the University of British Columbia where she studied philosophy. With her husband Maury, she embarked on a collecting journey that would last a lifetime, culminating in collections of 20th century Canadian paintings and Chinese snuff bottles, both ranking amongst the world’s finest. Mary’s initial contact with the wondrous world of snuff bottles came through forays into local galleries as well as the seminal book Chinese Snuff Bottles – The Adventures and Studies of a Collector by Lilla S. Perry. Over the years, she built a superb collection and with it a strong and admiring circle of fellow collectors, for Mary never turned down a request to see the collection or lend it to exhibitions. She had a passion for education and the learning/teaching aspect resulting from the many exchanges with other individuals in the field satisfied this passion from different perspectives. Throughout her collecting career, she kept extensive notes and records which have been invaluable to the creation of the sales catalogue.

Auction:

The Meriem Collection: Important Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part II March 19 at approximately 11.30a.m.

Viewing: Christie’s Galleries at Rockefeller Center March 14 – 18

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium

Category: Auction News

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