Enamel on Milk Glass Tortoise Snuff Bottle


Circa: Twentieth Century

Attributed to the Yeh Family

Height: 6 cm.


This outstanding enamel on milk white glass snuff bottle depicts a tortoise decorated with a floral motif. For the Chinese, the tortoise is sacred and symbolizes longevity, power, and tenacity. The flat plastron and domed carapace of a turtle parallel the ancient Chinese idea of a flat earth and domed sky. Both dome sides of the bottle bear the characters meaning “One thousand years of Long Life”. The bright and vivid famille rose colors are masterfully rendered. The foot is inscribed in bright blue enamel “Made during the glorious Qianlong Reign”. The stopper continues the floral design and is rendered from gilded metal.


Although unsigned, the design and quality of work suggest this excellent snuff bottle is the work of the famous Yeh Family of artists. In our opinion, the subject matter, workmanship and painting style suggest a mid twentieth century date for this work of art.



Ex Collection James Lee, Sao Paulo Brazil

Ex Collection Ashkenazie & Co., San Francisco (Acquired from James Lee 1994)

Ex Collection: J. Richards, 1994



Reference number: 4132

Price Available Upon Request


To inquire about this work of art, contact us at 415.299.1600 or email at sbernsteinjade@aol.com