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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 31 

Lot 31

Lot 31
Treasury 1, no. 183
HK$687,500

Jadeite; well hollowed, with a concave lip and recessed foot
1770–1900
Height: 6.5 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.72/2.00 cm
Stopper: tourmaline; gilt-silver collar

Provenance:
Christie’s, London, 12 October 1987, lot 313

Published:
Treasury 1, no. 183

This uniquely-marked material has opaque but rich, dark emerald-green areas interspersed with similarly opaque but brighter emerald-green and black spots that do not take the gloss polish of the green material, leaving duller patches.

It is visually intriguing, with richly varied markings and colour. As a material it is relatively rare in the snuff-bottle field and was usually employed to produce plain bottles of high quality, so the material was obviously valued by Qing snuff-bottle makers for its intrinsic merits as a stone. Here it has been carefully crafted to produce a lovely form with perfect symmetry and finish and excellent hollowing. It is also well detailed at the lip, mouth, and foot.

The wide dating range is prompted by the fact that we have no idea when this particular material was first introduced to the Chinese but when one comes across other forms and decorated carvings made from it, one can conclude that it was used during the later Qing period and possibly into the twentieth century. On the other hand, the form and quality of this particular bottle would not rule out a late eighteenth-century date. Trade relations between the Qing empire and Burma were normalized in 1788, and Burmese jadeite became a significant stone for the Chinese from then on.

 

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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