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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VI  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 27 May 2013: Lot 200 

Lot 200

Lot 200
Treasury 6, no. 1375 (‘Ancient Summer Idyll’)
HK$30,000

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 a man fishing from a small boat in a vast waterscape, just offshore from a foreground piece of land to our left that features reeds, a rock formation, and two trees through whose upper branches an impressive distant mountain can be seen rising on the far side of the water, pushing to and over the edge of the shoulder and embracing on the left side of its summit a rather out-of-scale residence, trailing clouds passing behind the peak but in front of the residence; the neck with a band of formalized lingzhi; the foot inscribed in underglaze-blue regular script, fanggu (‘Imitating antiquity’); the lip, inner neck, and interior glazed
Jingdezhen, 1820–1860
Height: 7.02 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.62/1.00 cm
Stopper: pearl; coral finial

Provenance:
Robert Kleiner (1993)

Published:
Kleiner 1995, no. 230
Treasury 6, no. 1375

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

Surely this and lot 124 in the present sale are from the same kiln and were made at about the same time. Apart from the obvious affinity of their marks, unusual but hardly rare in the nineteenth century, the two are of identical, distinctive shape (each is thinner than one would expect for a cylindrical bottle of this height); they have the same two lines separating the neck from the shoulders and two more, with an unusually large white space between, at the base; and both are exquisitely well painted using similar blue colour.

An amusing visual conundrum has occurred in transferring the design to the bottle. Whoever drew up the design obviously intended the boat to be poking out from beyond the concealing reed bank in the foreground so only the front of the boat was visible. However, the artist has left the reeds a little understated, so where there should be either reeds or the rest of the boat, there is neither. Result: we are looking at the only known image of a Chinese fisherman in a coracle. Other than that, the painting is extremely well done and makes use of lovely painterly techniques of line and wash, the control of which is helped by what appears to be the use of huashi, which has rendered the ceramic only semi-translucent. Most normal porcelain of the nineteenth century is translucent, readily allowing the passage of light, whereas the beige porcelain is mostly almost opaque. Here, the semi-translucence suggests that a thin wash of huashi was applied to allow for better control of the underglaze blue over normal porcelain.

 

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

 

Easy link to this page: http://www.e-yaji.com/auction/photo.php?photo=1611&exhibition=11&ee_lang=eng


  
  

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