Please note that this exhibition is now included in the member's area


Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection 水松石山房藏鼻煙壺

We are preparing a publication of the entire collection over the next few years. We plan to divide this into three main sections based on principle influence over the snuff bottles arts. The first will cover Imperial influence; the second non-imperial influence (merchants, the literati, and regional styles such as Mongolian and Tibetan), the third the influence of the collector, initially in China among snuff-takers who began to seek out old bottles rather than newly made ones, then subsequently among foreigners in China and abroad. The first, covering imperial influence, will be published on this website later this year or early next year, but we made an initial selection to exhibit at Sotheby's Hong Kong in their S2 Gallery for the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society Convention, October 2014. This is that exhibition of bottles selected from the first volume covering imperial bottles and bottles responding to imperial influence over the art-form.

2014 Exhibition 

An Explanatory Note

The captions in the exhibition provide basic descriptions, attributions, dimensions, provenance, publication and exhibition history (insofar as known), and occasional supplementary comments. The forthcoming publication will go into more detail for each bottle, where necessary, and tie them together with a narrative.

Each item is given a name that calls attention to something about its material, subject, provenance, or form. Symbolism is not discussed in detail; the collecting public is generally more familiar with many aspects of Chinese symbolism than it was when there were fewer publications on the subject.

The identification of ground metals in the cases of cloisonné and painted enamels must be considered tentative, as it is based only visual inspection; it should be remembered distinguishing between copper and the many bronze alloys in which it is a component is nearly impossible by non-destructive methods.





Hugh Moss |