A famille rose ‘Rice Production’ snuff bottle


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The base with an apocryphal Qianlong four-character mark in iron red,
ca. 1820-1880

The bottle is moulded in high relief and painted in bright colours with gilt details. Each side is decorated with a scene taken from the Genzhi tu (Album of Tilling and Weaving) commissioned by the emperor Kangxi in 1696 showing 46 stages of rice cultivation. 
One side of the bottle depicts figures engaged in pounding the grain with a pestle by hand or by foot (scene number 18 from the album). The other
side shows the grinding 'by pushing and pulling shoulder by shoulder in order to turn the teeth of the mill stone' (scene 21 from the album).
Height 8.5 cm; quartz stopper

The Kangxi emperor took great interst in the life of the farmers and their agrarian labour by traveling widely in the country.
According to Confucian tradition every year the Emperor and Empress would open the season for agriculture and sericulture in state rituals.
Kangxi's successors continued their own Gengzhi tu albums which incorporated other manufacteres includingporcelain and tea.

 

Works of Art > Early Bronzes