Lot 92 Lot 93 Lot 94 Lot 95 Lot 96 Lot 97 Lot 98

photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 95 

Lot 95

Lot 95
Treasury 5, no. 862 (‘Gadsby’s Hand’)

Translucent milky white glass; manipulated and carved into the form of a Buddha’s-hand citron
Height: 5.66 cm
Mouth: 0.60 cm
Stopper: glass, manipulated into the form of a twig

Arthur Gadsby
Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 2 May 1991, lot 44

Kleiner 1995, no. 150
Treasury 5, no. 862

British Museum, London, June-October 1995
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July-November 1997

Manipulation of the molten glass characterizes a distinctive group of glass-wares made during the mid-Qing period. The group is characterized also by the use of pre-moulded decorative elements (such as leaves and mask handles) applied in the semi-molten state so that they adhere like icing applied with a piping-bag. In this case the glass has been stretched a little to extrude the ‘fingers’ of the fruit. The group seems identifiable not only by this method of manipulation but also the range of colours used. This includes the present unusual creamy-white and a distinctive white with a soufflé pink surface (although, rarely, other colours were used).

They make a delightful change from so many other glass snuff bottles, primarily because there is no reason whatsoever to even consider an imperial provenance, for they appear to be the decorative, cheaply produced works of a commercial glassmaker. The commentary on this bottle in Treasury 5 includes a list of other known examples.

Here, a typical and absolutely pure piece of creamy white glass has been manipulated in the molten state, the ‘fingers’ of the fruit being pinched at the end and pulled away from the ‘hand’ to create an accurate representation of the real fruit. The simple methods of this school are ideally suited to the form, and the manipulation of the ‘fingers’ has worked so effectively that it transcends the rather commercial appearance of the group as a whole.

The stopper, also of glass, is made in the same manner, probably in the same factory. It is a perfect match, and we would be forgiven for becoming excited about another likely original stopper if it were the one it had in the Gadsby Collection. To be persuaded it is the original, we would have to believe that bottle and stopper were separated and then, miraculously, reunited once more.


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=1648&exhibition=12&ee_lang=eng


Lot 92 Lot 93 Lot 94 Lot 95 Lot 96 Lot 97 Lot 98


Hugh Moss |