the slightly flattened globular body skilfully hollowed, well carved in low relief to one side with an old man holding a fly-whisk seated upon a meditation stool in a terraced garden, set amid pierced rockwork, pawlownia and a large willow, with a crane swooping from above, the reverse with a boy grooming a horse near a mountain slope by a gently rippling stream, the horse stopping to feed and nibble on shrubs, all under pine and pawlownia, the white stone of a pale-celadon tone, varnished wood stopper
The carving style on the unusually large present bottle is relatively restrained and in low relief, but the composition is actually very sophisticated since it is composed of only two figures, a horse and a crane separated by a few trees and some serrated lines suggestive of rocks. This balance between empty space and convincing activity creates a surprisingly lively bottle, and is therefore an accomplished example of the Zhiting School.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Zhiting School is the serrated rocks, which is visible in the present lot. Zhiting is the name of a Suzhou artist, who signed his name to works at some time during the early-to-mid-eighteenth century. The school worked in jade, agate, and crystal. For an in depth discussion on the Zhiting School, see Moss et al. A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles, vol. 2, nos. 366-379. A similar jade example from the collection is illustrated in ibid. vol. 1, no. 121. See also a bottle from the collection of Avrina Pugh,sold in our New York rooms 1st April 2005, lot 387.
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