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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 27 

Lot 27

Lot 27
Treasury6, no. 1333 (‘Zhong Kui’s Happiness’)

Famille rose enamels on colourless glaze on porcelain; with a slightly convex lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding convex footrim; painted with a continuous scene of Zhong Kui riding a donkey and escorting his sister, who is seated in a sedan chair with wheels, to her wedding, two demons in attendance, one carrying the Demon Queller’s possessions on a pole across his shoulders, the other pushing the wheeled chair, while two female attendants stand nearby, one holding up a dish containing a jug of wine, the other holding an ornate canopy to shade Zhong Kui’s sister, with formalized wisps of cloud behind them, the ground enamelled black, the black repeated around the neck above a white band painted with iron-red and green bats on the shoulder; the foot, lip, inner neck, and interior glazed
Jingdezhen, 1820–1860
Height: 6.5 cm
Mouth/lip: 1.02/1.72 cm
Stopper: iron-red, gold and green enamel on glaze on porcelain; simulating a gilt-bronze stopper with a coral finial; 1930–1945

David Bowden, London, January 2003

Treasury 6, no. 1333

Versions of this squat, broad, cylindrical form seem to have been a popular one during the Daoguang period and may have been developed very shortly before the reign. The enamels here are typical of the Daoguang reign, and the black ground, so popular on imperial Yongzheng wares but less so thereafter, staged a comeback on some porcelain snuff bottles of the Daoguang. Finally, Zhong Kui seems to have been particularly popular during the reign, appearing on a wide range of snuff bottles (see Sale 3, lot 83).

This unusually widely proportioned cylindrical form gives a broad ‘canvas’ for the artist to work on, of which he has taken full advantage here with one of the most evocative portrayals of the Demon Queller and his sister in the medium, unusually well drawn and enamelled and thrown into stark emphasis by the black ground.

Although ideally matched and very striking, the porcelain stopper is not the original. It is old, but comes from the group of spare porcelain stoppers acquired by Moss with the final batch of the Ko Collection in 1989.


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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