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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part V  
Bonham's, Hong Kong, 27 May 2012: Lot 2 

Lot 2

 
 

Lot 2
Treasury 2, no. 323 (‘The Ink-play Master’s Dragonpiece’)
HK$375,000

A chalcedony ‘dragons’ snuff bottle

Dendritic chalcedony; very well hollowed, with a concave lip and recessed flat foot, surrounded by a broad, inward-sloping flat footrim; carved with a continuous design, partially in extremely low-relief cameo work, of a three-clawed dragon emerging from clouds to confront a chi dragon, a flaming pearl between them, above a rocky ground from which a tree, possibly intended to be a wutong, grows, wisps of formalized cloud dissecting its branches
The Cameo Ink-play Master, possibly Imperial, Official School, 1770–1860
Height: 5.72 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.72/2.07 cm
Stopper: coral; turquoise finial; quartzite collar

Provenance:
Jesse Dukeminier and David Sanders
Robert Hall (1995)

Published:
Hall 1995, no. 7
JICSBS, Autumn 1997, pp. 10 and 11
Treasury 2, no. 323

Exhibited:
Robert Hall Gallery, June 1995

This is another of the transcendent masterpieces by the Cameo Ink-play Master, in a class with Sale 1, lot 6, and the J & J fish (Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, no. 133) for its extraordinary combination of material, quality of workmanship and interpretive genius. The artist has taken a piece of dappled chalcedony that is immensely varied in colouring and markings, the sort of challenge he seems to have enjoyed, and with an elegantly hollowed and shaped form, created an ink-play masterpiece of the highest order. The cameo work here is barely discernible as being in relief, but is still conceived as cameo work for all that, with different colours separated out to form different elements of the design (the chi dragon, for instance, some of the clouds, the body of the larger dragon and part of the tree), but as an ink-play it is stunning. It demonstrates just how the game of interpreting markings, editing a little here, adding a few lines in the ground colour there, and using a highly tuned artistic imagination can lead in stone to the same results as it does on paper.

 

Easy link to this page: http://www.e-yaji.com/auction/photo.php?photo=1351&exhibition=10&ee_lang=eng


  
  

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Hugh Moss |