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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 8 

Lot 8

Lot 8
Treasury 6, no. 1346 (‘Monochrome Longevity’)

Iron-red enamel on white glaze on porcelain; with a convex lip and flat foot; all exterior surfaces covered with an iron-red enamel; the inner neck and interior unglazed Jingdezhen, 1810–1850
Height: 5.32 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.71/1.65 cm
Stopper: glass

Stone Picking Studio (Caishi xuan)
Sotheby’s, London, 21 June 1995, lot 136

Treasury 6, no. 1346

The use of iron-red as a monochrome or as a monochrome ground for gold-enamelled decoration first emerges during the Qianlong period. The colour appears as a monochrome on a range of other ceramic forms from throughout the reign, but the snuff bottles that can be dated to the reign seem to date only from the second half. There is one example in the Ault Collection (Kleiner 1990, no. 155, which has gold-enamelled decoration and, although unmarked, is reasonably dated by Kleiner to the Qianlong period), while another is illustrated in Geng 1992, no. 149, also presumably unmarked and similarly decorated with a gold design. It is ascribed there to the Jiaqing period but may be earlier. Ault also had an intriguing Daoguang marked example painted with gold enamel and having the same subject and composition found on enamelled wares of the reign (op. cit., no. 156).

Without the gold design, we are deprived of one tool for dating here, but the shape of the bottle and the glaze suggest a likely Daoguang date. Those without the gold design are rarer, but where the gold has survived without being badly worn, it is a lovely complement to this rich, coral colour.


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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