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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 46 

Lot 46

Lot 46
Treasury 2, no. 305 (‘The Hasterlik Commander Reporting Victory’)
HK$81,250

Agate; very well hollowed, with flat lip and a recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding wide, flat footrim; carved in relief on one side with a cameo design of a galloping bannerman holding the reins in his left hand and his banner across his shoulder with his right, the banner inscribed with the character ling (‘command’), a flying bat in front of him
Official School, 1759–1780
Height: 5.79 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.90/2.34 and 2.30 cm (slightly oval)
Stopper: amethyst; gilt-silver collar

Provenance:
Hugh M. Moss Ltd.
Bernice Straus Hasterlik
Sotheby’s, New York, 17 September 1996, lot 62A
Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1997)

Published:
Treasury 2, no. 305

This subject may have been inspired by the end of the Qing wars in Central Eurasia in 1759, although there were always other military actions that called for celebration or encouragement. There is a series of Official School bottles of this subject both in cameo, which is the normal style, or silhouette, the exception. One, in the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, has a cameo caption carved into the foot that identifies the subject as ‘Victory Attained’.

This is in higher relief than most single-cameo versions and has the addition of a bat, presumably to symbolize happiness as well as conquest. The material is similar to a wide range used by the Official School, with a grey ground and rich, honey-brown relief, all of it almost transparent. It is a lively material, even when lit from the front, but with the light shining through it the transparency comes alive and the relief material reveals the striations that allow the designation ‘agate’. The striations are diagonally biased, as if they have been caught up in the momentum of the galloping horse and swept along with it.

For other versions of the subject, see the commentary to this bottle in Treasury 2.

 

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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