Featuring a pink quartz and gold coloured metal stopper, tortoiseshell spoon and red and black velvet fitted case, it came for sale from a local descendant of Ferruccio Stefenelli, the consul of the Italian Concession of Tientsin in the 1930s.
The bottle, admired for the quality and colour of the stone, was thought to date from the Jiaqing or Daoguang periods in the first half of the 19th century. It sold to a UK phone bidder.
Other Chinese hardstone objects fared well. An agate bowl carved as a lobed ‘mallow’ flower with six petals is a type known from the Song period but most examples were made in the Qing period.
The example here, dated to the 19th century but possible from the Qianlong period, had been acquired by the vendor’s grandfather while working as a junior diplomat in Beijing in the 1930s. It found many admirers and a hammer price of £16,000 in the Cheltenham auction on June 23-24, many times the £200-300 estimate.
The stand-out lot from the second day was an 18th century pale celadon jade finial pierced and carved with a dragon and crane amid a trailing lotus plant. Estimated at £400-600, it became one of many lots sold online when it took £9200.