Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Baur Collection
This exhibition presents the finest Chinese snuff bottles from among the 556 pieces collected by Alfred Baur, including those to be published in the 12th volume of the Catalogue of the Baur Collection, available from December 2007. This selection reflects the diversity of materials and techniques used from the end of the 17th century on in the manufacture of these delicate bottles: the silkiness of jade, the fineness of intricate scenes painted inside glass or crystal, the flamboyance of 18th-century enamels, the harmonious shades of agate, or the softness of amber. The care and attention paid by the artists is apparent as much in the balanced shapes of the bottles as it is in the skillful use of the natural colouring of each stone, or the extraordinary detail of carved and incised motifs on coral, lacquer or mother-of-pearl. This remarkable collection reveals the breadth of Chinese artistic motifs, ranging from dragons and lotuses to folktales and complex linguistic puns.