Season Year

Fig. 17. A yellow jade snuff bottle, 1750–1840. Fig. 16. A five-color overlay glass snuff bottle. Qing Dynasty, 18th/19th century. Fig. 19. An apple green and emerald green jadeite snuff bottle, 1770–1860. Fig. 20. A carved yellowish green and russet jade snuff bottle. Master of the Rocks School, 1740–1850. Fig. 21. A carved amber snuff bottle, 1750–1850. Fig. 18. An underglaze blue and famille rose porcelain pocket watch snuff bottle, 1780–1799. 30 different color overlays with ascending chilong , sold to Moss for the princely sum of $7,500 (lot 1062, fig. 16 ). It had passed through his hands in 1973, when the Muntz ’ s purchased it, and now, forty-three years later, he has reacquired it. On September 14, Christie ’ s offered part three of the well-known Ruth and Carl Barron Collection. The Barrons amassed numerous bottles over the relatively short span of some twenty years in their beloved hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The sale immediately moved into high gear with presiding auctioneer Hugh Edmeades rattling off telephone and room bids in quick succession on a lovely yellow jade bottle of simple rounded rectangular form (lot 401, fig. 17 ). It had once belonged to the fondly remembered late Robert Kleiner. It bore a reasonable low estimate of $6,000, which was quickly surpassed in a dual between a Chinese gentleman in the room and various telephone bidders. The hammer fell at $15,000. The stone is a particularly attractive semi-translucent yellow green and had been well hollowed through a small mouth and raised on a short conforming oval foot. In all likelihood, the bottle could be assigned to imperial production of the Qianlong period despite the slightly more cautious dating of 1750–1840 in the catalogue description. The next item of interest was a rare pocket watch bottle in porcelain (lot 410, fig. 18 ). Based on the form of a European watch or clockface, introduced to China during the reign of the Wanli Emperor in the 1580s but popularized in the eighteenth century, these timepieces were more than a passing fashion as attested by the numerous examples now preserved in the Palace Museum, Beijing. Fittingly, the seconds ticked by quickly as the bidding rose inexorably above the high estimate of $8,000. Interest on the auctioneer ’ s book, on the Internet, on the telephone, and in the room pushed the price upward. The hammer finally fell at $25,000 to an Internet bidder, a somewhat apposite happenstance in our modern age of boundless time and place. A superb emerald and apple green jadeite bottle next lit up the sale (lot 422, fig. 19 ). The cutting of this mesmerizing stone was cleverly handled to draw out the delightful translucent green, with opaque white inflections resembling shimmering water or a misty landscape. With a low estimate of just $4,000, the bidding