The Lingnan School

Fig. 13. Beginning of harbor scene at Guangzhou. ," ,. .... Fig. 14. Scene continued on one side of bottle in figure 13. out by the fact that they are all of the same scene-as if they were made primarily as souvenirs in the newly developed and no doubt still highly intriguing art form rather than as high art. They may even have been made as souvenirs specifically for the foreign merchants whose hangs (trading warehouses) are depicted in each. One of the finest of the group be– longs to Emily Byrne Curtis (figs. 13-16), who was responsible for pointing Out my mistaken identifica– tion of the scene after I had sug– gested-relying optimistically as a callow youth upon the opinion of a waiter at the Gallery Rendezvous restaurant in London-that it was probably Shanghai. S It is, of course, the approach to Guangzhou on the estuary of the Pearl River, with the forts, bustling shipping, and the hangs, each with a flagpole in front of it for identifying national flags. I have a record of four of these bottles, three of them of the same faceted crystal form (which also oc– curs painted by Gan Xuanwen and other Lingnan artists); and the fourth of a tapering cylindrical form. The first of these came to light in 1895 when it was published by Marcus B. Huish in his pioneering book, Chi– nese Snuff Bottles ofStone, Por– celain and Glass. A second was offered in the auction by Sothebys of the collection of Arthur W. Schar– feld in London on January 7, 1964 (fig. 17), and the fourth, the cylinder, was in the same auction but possibly not from the same collection and is now owned by Mary and George Bloch (figs. 18-21). This is perhaps the most impressive of the group because of its stronger composition and smooth surface plane, which al– lows the painting to be read as a continuous experience without in– terference from the faceted exterior of the other examples. I made a note of another similar bottle, probably also of the same scene, in Sotheby's London (Lot 156, December 11, 1962) but was unable to obtain a photograph. It was also in faceted crystal and bore a signa– ture which might be Yanfeng (Cliff peak). My note states only that it had a continuous landscape and river scene and that it bore on its base a 10 Fig. 15. Section of same scene on other side of bottle in figure I} Fig. 16. End of scene on bottle in figure 13.