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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VI  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 27 May 2013: Lot 124 

Lot 124

Lot 124
Treasury 6, no. 1374 (‘Sixteen Auspicious Sons’)
HK$35,000

Lightly crackled colourless glaze on cobalt on porcelain; with a convex lip and recessed, slightly concave circular foot surrounded by a protruding convex footrim; painted under the glaze with a continuous scene of sixteen boys, each holding a different symbolic flower or fruit, on an area surrounded by a low fence; the neck decorated with a band of formalized lingzhi; the foot inscribed in underglaze-blue regular script, Fanggu (‘Imitating antiquity’)
Jingdezhen, 1820–1860
Height: 7.1 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.6/1.0 cm
Stopper: tourmaline; gilt-silver collar

Provenance:
Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd (1992)

Published:
Kleiner 1995, no. 229
Treasury 6, no. 1374

Exhibited:
British Museum, London, June–October 1995
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997

An indication of the nineteenth century date here, as if we need one, may be found in the mark, fanggu. This is a common phrase often used in conjunction with the name of an individual copying an ancient model, or with the reign mark of the emperor who ordered such a copy. Here, however, the phrase tells us only that an old model is being imitated in some aspect. This naturally raises the question of what the ‘ancient’ model is. The cylindrical form was none too old at the time, having become popular only during the mid-Qing period. If the reference was to the nature of the decoration, then ‘ancient’ might be as far back as the fourteenth century, when underglaze decoration first became popular, and if to the design of the boys at play, then the model could be a little earlier than the Song dynasty, but more likely discoverable in the fifteenth century, when a well-known series of Chenghua blue-and-white large bowls decorated with playing children was produced.

 

This is not the Sotheby’s sale catalogue. This is a product of Hugh Moss for the purposes of this website. For the catalogue details please refer to Sotheby’s website or request a copy of a printed sale catalogue from Sotheby’s

 

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