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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 47 

Lot 47

Lot 47
Treasury 1, no. 154 (‘Prince Ding’s Driven Snow Jade’)

Flawless nephrite; very well hollowed and with a recessed foot; the foot incised in seal script Xingyouheng Tang (‘Hall of Constancy’)
Height: 6.55 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.53/2.28 and 2.25 cm (oval)
Stopper: tourmaline; silver collar

Zhirou Zhai Collection, Hong Kong
Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (Hong Kong, 1993)

Treasury 1, no. 154

Quite apart from its important origin, indicated by the mark, this is one of the most impressive of a broad group of plain nephrite snuff bottles from the mid-Qing period of approximately this shape. They are often, as here, very well hollowed through an unusually small mouth (see Sale 3, lot 82 for an example in jadeite).

In this case we know the identity of the owner of the bottle, the Fifth Prince Ding, whose private hall mark appears on the foot. He died in 1854, and this bottle might well have been made shortly before his death (see under Treasury 1, no. 150 for biographical details and Sale 3, lot 7 and Sale 5, lot 131 for other works of art bearing this mark).

Apart from the gorgeous material, with its flawless purity and colour, and the virtuoso hollowing, the form is more powerful than most of this type, being slightly fatter and therefore more generous as sculpture. This allows for a gentler contour to the rounding of the basically rectangular form at the edges and corners, giving it a more expansive profile from every vantage point. It is also, because of the material and well-rounded form, comfortable in the hand, yet another example of a bottle that one is encouraged to keep on fondling for the sheer pleasure of it.


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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