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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 34 

Lot 34

Lot 34
Treasury 2, no. 257 (‘The Midnight Rustic Crystal’)

Black crystal; with a concave lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim; carved around three sides of the bottle with a winter scene showing a small, open pavilion set in a mountainous landscape with broad expanses of water, the narrow sides with mask-and-ring handles
The Rustic Crystal Master, 1740–1880
Height: 7.51 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.8/2.51 cm
Stopper: tourmaline; silver collar

Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1971)
Kurt Graf Blucher von Wahlstatt (Count Blucher)
Hugh M. Moss Ltd.
Heflene Collection (V. Meglys)
Hugh M. Moss Ltd. (1993)

Moss 1971, p. 23, no. 41
Moss 1971a, no. 82
Treasury 2, no. 257

The material here is both as black and as brilliant a black as is found in crystal in the snuff-bottle world.

Apart from its unusual size, which may suggest a mid- late to late Qing date, it is typical of the middle range of relief by this carver, which can protrude as much as two millimetres above the surface but has areas of lower relief and some incising. Here a group of smaller bare trees on the foreground bank to the left of the large bare tree and a signature flock of birds on the same side are simply incised in typical fashion. As a rule these foliate forms made up of a vertical incision intersected by a group of shorter horizontal ones seem to depict small or distant trees, but occasionally a similar method is used to depict bamboo. The most distant range of hills, close to the upper right-hand shoulder of the side with the pine trees, is carved along a fault line at the edge of paler material, giving the impression of snow or mists on the hills.

The style of the handles here is obviously taken from a courtly model, although the actual style of carving reveals several personal variations and a slightly broader, more rudimentary style of carving, as if the masks were not so important a feature as they may have been at court.


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.


Easy link to this page: http://www.e-yaji.com/auction/photo.php?photo=1715&exhibition=12&ee_lang=eng


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