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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 52 

Lot 52

Lot 52
Treasury 5, no. 732 (‘Speckled Egg’)
HK$23,750

Semi-transparent brown glass sandwiched between two layers of transparent pale yellow glass sparsely suffused with small air bubbles; with a flat lip and concave foot
1730-1840
Height: 5.71 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.80/1.35 cm
Stopper: coral; gilt-bronze collar, chased with a rope pattern

Provenance:
Drouot (Millon-Jutheau), Paris, 22 October 1981, lot 107
Belfort Collection

Published:
Kleiner 1995, no. 139
Treasury 5, no. 732

Exhibited:
British Museum, London, June-October 1995
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July-November 1997

The sandwiched layer of brown speckles here comes close to the surface and, judging from the lip, the intention was to make the inner layer of colourless glass twice as thick as the outer layer. The coloured splashes have been confined to the upper two thirds of the bottle, allowing the inner bubble of air greater presence in the visual equation as it contrasts with the deep, differently shaped base of the bottle.

This may have been blown into a mould, although the thick walls show no signs of it, either inside or out, and the bottle has been so convincingly detailed and polished by the lapidary that, save for the stretched bubbles and elongated brown splashes, it might have been carved from a solid block. The deep foot here, although echoed on a wide range of palace-workshop nephrite bottles, may have been inspired by the possibilities of glass-blowing rather than by the need to conform to an existing palace standard for hardstone bottles.

 

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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