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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 36 

Lot 36

Lot 36
Treasury 1, no. 76 (‘Imperial Meiping Yellow Jade’)
HK$437,500

Nephrite; with a concave circular foot and flat footrim
Probably imperial, attributable to the palace workshops, Beijing, 1700–1800
Height: 5.7 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.73/1.25 cm
Stopper: coral; integral finial and collar

Provenance:
Sotheby’s, New York, 12 October 1993, lot 204

Published:
Kleiner 1995, no. 56
Treasury 1, no. 76

Exhibited:
British Museum, June–October 1995
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1997 

The attribution to the palace workshops is based upon a number of characteristic features. The material is distinctive, of a type of yellowish-green nephrite usually, although often somewhat loosely, called ‘yellow’ jade, which was extremely popular at the Qianlong court, but was certainly used earlier. The flat upper neck rim is typical of palace hardstone bottles. The hollowing through a wide mouth stops short of the foot to leave a heavy base area, which facilitated display in the palace, although in this case the base is not as thick as in some (it is 0.47 cm thick). It is also of small size and a variation on the meiping (‘prunus-blossom’ vase) form so popular at court.

For other bottles in this colour of nephrite, see also Sale 1, lot 79; Sale 4, lot 25; Sale 6, lot 141, and so forth.

This example is especially impressive with its lovely, even colour, elegant, slender form and wide mouth. The shape is also made more intriguing by the gentle bulge in the body of the vase, which is so typical of the group. The coral stopper may be the original. If not, it suits it perfectly and is of the popular imperial shape with integral collar and finial that would probably have graced it originally in any case.

 

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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