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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’)
HK$87,500

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
1736-1780
Height: 6.1 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.55/1.80 cm
Stopper: jadeite; vinyl collar

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

Published:
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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