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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 59 

Lot 59

Lot 59
Treasury 1, no. 44 (‘Fat Dog Jade’)
HK$200,000

Nephrite; extremely well hollowed and carved in the form of a dog lying prone
1740–1860
Length: 5.51 cm
Mouth: 0.48 cm
Stopper: jadeite; gilt-silver collar

Provenance:
Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (Hong Kong, 1992)

Published:
Treasury 1, no. 44

This is an unusual model of a dog from the broad group of white nephrite animal-form bottles of which Sale 1, lot 19; Sale 2, lot 113; and Sale 3, lot 118 are further examples. These animal-form bottles in white jade are rare and sculpturally impressive.

Here, the chubby dog is at rest but alert, with its eyes open. The configuration of the ears is particularly interesting, because they are formally arranged, equal in size and detail, and stiffly carved with unusual thickness. This was presumably intentional, since their greater thickness perfectly balances the lines of the forepaws when viewed from the front, and other details of the carving demonstrate beyond a doubt that had the artist wanted to make them more realistic and less formal he could have done so. The backbone is superbly detailed, curving very slightly along its length in a gentle ‘S’-shape, and dipping at the back of the neck to rise again into the line of the head. The eyes are also unusually well detailed for the group, deeply sunken, rounded and set into unusually well-carved lids, the upper ones being carefully wrinkled to give a slightly worried expression, which ideally matches the sense of tension.

 

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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