+China Republic Post 1912 Inside Painted Rock Crystal Vase With Sterling Silver & Enamel
An impressive China inside-painted vase in rock crystal.
Beautiful and one-of-a-kind art-piece. created in China during the first years of the China-republic, circa 1912-1949. This cushion shaped vase with a lid, has been carefully carved, with elaborated details from four-pieces of natural translucent rock crystal and embellished, with inside-painted scenes of the Chinese Imperial court, probably from the Ming dynasty.
The images are divided into four-panels. The main ones depicts, the Chinese Emperor enthroned, with courtesans around and the standing figure of the Empress surrounded by servants. The secondary two small side panels depicts, two groups of courts ladies.
The piece is embellished in the outside, with intricate filigree mountings crafted of gilded .800/,999 sterling silver. The sterling mounts pieces are decorated, with applications of color enamels and small beads of natural blue turquoises.
In the Empress panel, on top at left, are a poem inscribed in Chinese characters (need to be translated) in black ink and the maker's signature in red ink,
The top lid is decorated with the same technique, depicting two painted paradise birds and one bead of 12 mm carved from translucent reddish agate.
This piece have an overall measures of 175 mm by 125 mm by 250 mm (6.90 x 4.95 x 9.83 Inches).
Inner-painting, is also known as inner drawing or inside painted, is a very difficult Chinese art form. It involves glass bottles which have pictures and often calligraphy painted on the inside surface of the glass. The bottles and vases are produced by manipulating a specialized paint brush through the neck of the bottle.
Inside-painted bottles are associated with Chinese snuff bottles. The earliest inside painted bottles are thought to have been made in the period between 1820 and 1830 as, by then, the beauty of a snuff bottle was probably more important than utilitarian considerations -and considering this- few would have been used for holding snuff.
To paint the inside of the bottle, the artist must paint backwards. Concentration is crucial to make precise strokes. A skilled artist may complete a simple bottle in a week while something special may take a month or more. The best craftsmen may produce only a few bottles in a year.
Note: Painting on the inside of a miniature container is challenging, especially when the motifs can be as intricate as landscapes, insects, and human figures. The technique had been guarded as a secret of the industry and not disclosed to the public until the end of the last century.
Literature: The amazing art of "inside painting", Chen Huizhi, Shanghai Daily, August 15, 2016.
Very rare and impressive vase in great antique condition, with just one small sphere missing.
INVENTORY REF: D0000XINM/.1111