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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 72 

Lot 72

Lot 72
Treasury 5, no. 810 (‘Small Gem’)

Transparent ruby-red glass; with a flat lip and flat square foot; the two main sides with raised flat oval panels surrounded by faceting
Imperial glassworks, Beijing, 1730-1790
Height: 3.98 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.75/1.20 cm
Stopper: glass; glass collar

Watercolour by Peter Suart

Robert Hall (1984)

Kleiner 1987, no. 71
Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 69
Treasury 5, no. 810

Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, October 1987
Creditanstalt, Vienna, May-June 1993
Hong Kong Museum of Art, March-June 1994
National Museum, Singapore, November 1994-February 1995

The purity of the ruby-glass provides the sole indication that this snuff bottle may date from the early Qianlong era rather than the Yongzheng. Although there are a few air bubbles, they are uniformly small and not at all obtrusive viewed with the naked eye. The clarity and purity of the colour here are of a very high standard for ruby-red glass.

The surface here has been repolished with such vigour that barely a trace of the original patination is visible through the gloss. As is often the case, this is not true of the foot, which commonly received less attention during the repolishing process. Under magnification, evidence of ancient wear is just visible beneath the new gloss, but no amount of repolishing could conceal the fact that this is an early example, probably from the beginning of the Qianlong era.


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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