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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part IV  
Bonham's, Hong Kong, 28 November 2011: Lot 37 

Lot 37


Lot 37
Treasury 6, no.1368 (‘Mianyi’s Longevity’)

A lime-green porcelain 'crane' snuff bottle

Lime-green and black glaze on porcelain; with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding flattened footrim; carved with a continuous scene of formalized, turbulent waves that surround on one main side a rocky outcrop offering two lower platforms on either side of a taller, central one discretely trimmed with a lingzhi, a small branch, and flowers and forming the stage on which a crane dances with open wings, its right leg raised to its body, its head and neck turned to its left, the waves on the other main side unbroken in their five overlapping ranges beneath a sinuous cloud behind which the orb of the sun rises; the foot inscribed in relief seal script, Zhang Mianyi zuo (‘Made by Zhang Mianyi’); all exterior surfaces, except the footrim, glazed, with the eye, bill, legs, and feet of the crane picked out in black; the interior unglazed
Zhang Mianyi, Jingdezhen, 1820–1870
Height: 7.5 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.75/1.49 cm
Stopper: glass; gilt-bronze collar

Michael Stern (1965)
Sydney L. Moss, Ltd. (1965)
Givaudan Collection (Switzerland)
Unrecorded immediate source

Sydney L. Moss Ltd., 1965, no. 224
Kleiner 1987, no. 238
Treasury 6, no.1368

Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, March–April, 1965
Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
Creditanstalt, Vienna, May–June 1993

Zhang Mianyi was another of the porcelain carvers of the nineteenth century who appears to have produced very little work. He may have been influenced by Wang Bingrong, but with no dated works from either one of them, it is impossible to be certain of who influenced whom. For a similar bottle signed by Zhang, of the same subject but differently composed and of caramel-brown colour with black details, see Sin, Hui, and Kwong 1996, no. 123 (where the signature was misread as Zhang Menshao; the bottle is also in Miller and Hui 2006, no. 86, where the mistake is corrected).


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Hugh Moss |