Description

An Unusual and Rare ‘Reversable’ Porcelain Snuff Bottle with 

Iron-red four-character date mark reading guiyou year corresponding to 1873 (or possibly 1813)

 

Of rectangular shape, one side painted with the profiled-head of a European lady  on one side, that when turned upside-down portrays a the profiled-head of a European gentleman, the other side identically painted but in reverse, the shoulder enameled in blue with scrolling foliage.

 

For a pair of identical bottles, see Robert Hall, Chinese Snuff Bottles II, 1989, p. 17, no. 10. Another very similar bottle with identical profiles but with under-glaze blue scrolling at the shoulders and sides (suggesting an 1810-20 date due to the similarity with Jiaqing-marked bottles) is illustrated by Bob C. Stevens, The Collector’s Book of Snuff Bottles, p. 98-99, no. 315. See also Howard and Ayers, China for the West, vol. II, p.378, pl. 373, where a date of 1813 is proposed.