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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part IV  
Bonham's, Hong Kong, 28 November 2011: Lot 72 

Lot 72

 
   

Lot 72
Treasury 6, no.1337 (‘Twinfish’)
HK$62,500

Famille verte enamels on glaze on porcelain; with a slightly convex lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a flared convex foot; moulded in the form of two conjoined fish rising from formalized waves, their two mouths joined as one to form the mouth of the bottle; the foot, lip, inner neck, and interior glazed
Jingdezhen, 1821–1870
Height: 7.6 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.7/1.5 cm
Stopper: jadeite; coral collar

Provenance:
Belfort Collection

Published:
Jutheau 1980, p. 90
Treasury 6, no.1337

Exhibited:
L’Arcade Chaumet, Paris, June 1982

It seems that all of the bottles of this model are entirely decorated in the traditional palette. The white of the waves is not white enamel, but glaze left undecorated, and all the other colours are part of the famille verte palette. Since it makes no attempt to look like it might date from the Kangxi period, the palette can only have chosen for aesthetic reasons. Perhaps the heavy use of iron-red for the faces of the fish on so many of the known examples made the extensive use of pink an unappealing option. If pink was not needed, there was little point in using any colours from the new palette of enamels unless other colours were required.

Other examples of this particular mould are known, but the loss of interest in moulded forms in this reign again seems indicated by the fact that they have survived in smaller numbers than most groups of enamelled bottles. For another version, which appears to be similarly coloured to this one, despite a caption saying it is decorated with famille-rose enamels, see Hong Kong 1977, no. 113; and for two that are certainly of similar colouring, see Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 1 November 1995, lot 969, and Hall 2003, no. 31. Others are in Hall 1996,no. 7 (with a different colour scheme, but still of the famille verte palette); Lawrence 1996, no. 89 (two bottles, one of the same colour scheme as this one, the other with the fish’s faces in a different colour); Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 28 April 1997, lot 58 (a rare version in iron-red with black eyes); while another still rarer, related version, with the fish heads in relief, is in Jutheau 1980, p. 91, centre.

 

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