Originally numbering over 1,700 bottles, the Mary and George Bloch collection presents the highest calibre of Chinese snuff bottles made for the Imperial court and scholar elite. Snuff (ground tobacco) was introduced to China in the 17th century by Western travellers. Given the humid climate in Asia, the traditional Western snuffboxes were replaced by small airtight bottles which kept the powder in dry condition. Chinese snuff bottles were produced in a wide range of materials, from enamelled metal to carved agate and inside-painted glass, representing the breadth of Qing art in miniature form. The Bloch collection has been extensively published and exhibited at international institutions such as the British Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of Art.
Thesale of Snuff Bottles From The Mary And George Bloch Collection: Part VI commanded HK$34.2 million / US$4.39 million, almost doubling its pre-sale low estimate (Est. HK$18 – 23 million / US$2.31 – 3 million*). All lots were sold, with over 70% of them selling above the high estimates.
The top lot of the sale was An Imperial Enamelled Glass ‘Flower Basket’ Snuff Bottle From The Period Of Qianlong, fetching HK$2.68 million / US$343,590 (Est. HK$2.2 – 2.8 million / US$280,000 – 360,000*).