Snuff bottle

LL 9438


Snuff bottle of flat flask shape woth straight neck; painted in famille rose enamels; on one face, a man with staff and characters, Tao Gong; on the other, a woman and characters, Su Ruo Lan; floral brocade pattern on the sides. Spoon stopper with silver cap mounted with a lion. Possibly Tao Gong is here the famous Tao Yuan ming, a poet and dilettante who lived 365-427 A.D. Su ruolan was the wife of a governor of Qin Dynasty at the end of the 4th century, who was banished; her faithfulnes and inconsolable grief became proverbial.