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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 68 

Lot 68

Lot 68
Treasury 5, no. 890 (‘Singing Melons’)

Transparent ruby-red and milky glass, suffused with air bubbles of various sizes and tiny white flakes; with a flat lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim; carved as a single overlay with a similar scene on each main side of a butterfly above a severed leafy melon vine with two melons
Height: 5.9 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.75/1.49 cm
Stopper: jadeite; vinyl collar

Hugh M. Moss Ltd., Hong Kong (1987)

Treasury 5, no.890

Elegantly and artistically carved, displaying excellent technical control, this example appears to be a standard Qianlong carving from the imperial glassworks. In view of the fact that the role in the art form played by private glass-carving workshops in the capital is unknown, we have nevertheless resisted a firm attribution.

It is remarkable how often red-glass overlay bottles end up with jadeite or jadeite-coloured stoppers. It seems to be the universal contrasting colour of choice, and for a good reason. From the mid-Qianlong period onwards, jadeite gradually assumed an increasingly elevated role in the hierarchy of precious gems, imbuing it with a certain presence. In combination with ruby - the colour of another gem - it certainly lends a distinctly regal presence to this work of art.


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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