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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 76 

Lot 76

Lot 76
Treasury 5, no. 902 (‘Trustworthy Official’)

Transparent ruby-red and translucent white glass, the former with a few scattered small air bubbles; with a flat lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding flattened footrim; carved as a single overlay with a continuous design of a qilin, flames coming from its haunches, standing on formalized waves with two rocky promontories rising from them, with formalized clouds and the sun above
Height: 6.1 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.55/1.80 cm
Stopper: jadeite; vinyl collar

Rare Art, New York (1981)
Gerd Lester (1986)

Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, exhibition poster, October 1987 (not included in exhibition)
Treasury 5, no. 902

There are several possible indications here of a courtly provenance, although perhaps insufficient to allow a firm attribution. Not only is the form based on the meiping (‘prunus-blossom vase’) so popular at the palace, but it displays the outer neck rim of a contrasting colour, which we suspect was a Qianlong innovation at court, and the subject matter also seems tailor-made for a gift from the emperor to one of his officials at court.

An early to mid-Qianlong date would seem the most likely, although a very slightly compromised match between overlay colour and footrim may indicate a slightly later date. The extraordinary quality of both art and technique suggest that this originates from a period when the art form was at its high-point at the palace. There is a feeling that while this may be a mythological beast, it is drawn from life. The sophisticated pose demonstrates a clear understanding of the anatomy of animals and also how they move, and the carving and polishing are of transcendent quality.


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=1669&exhibition=12&ee_lang=eng


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