A soapstone snuff bottle, 1800-1860.

The bottle, of ovoid form, is carved on one side with a design of an egret under a blossoming prunus tree, with an inscription to one side, and on the other, with a clump of lotus and a second inscription, 6.6cm.

It has been described as ‘a painting in stone’ and clearly demonstrates the craftsman’s skillful use of the natural inclusions in the soapstone when creating the image, thereby transforming an object made of an inexpensive material into a work of great art.


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