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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part IV  
Bonham's, Hong Kong, 28 November 2011: Lot 71 

Lot 71


Lot 71
Treasury 5, no.882 (‘Chi’s Soufflé’)

A ruby-red glass overlay 'chi dragons' snuff bottle

Transparent ruby-red, and slightly milky colourless glass, suffused with air bubbles of various sizes, including some elongated ones; with a flat lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding flattened footrim; carved as a single overlay with a chi dragon amidst formalized clouds on each main side, the narrow sides with mask-and-ring handles
Height: 6.32 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.9/1.27 cm
Stopper: pearl; coral collar

Hugh M. Moss Ltd., Hong Kong (1985)

JICSBS, Summer 1982, back cover
Treasury 5, no.882

The tiny, imperial-style mask-and-ring handles here are typical of the court, and an imperial-glassworks provenance seems by far the most likely.

The unusually wide mouth suggests an early bottle, and the small mask handles with their circular rings endorse this likelihood. The carving of the courtly chi-dragons, exquisitely well controlled and fluent, is achieved with such consummate ease that the carver might have been working in nothing harder than modelling clay.


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Hugh Moss |