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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 19 

Lot 19

Lot 19
Treasury 6, no. 1360 (‘First-Rank Carving’)

Caramel-brown and black glazes on porcelain; the reticulated double body with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding flat footrim; the outer body carved with a continuous design of a crane, its right leg raised, twisting to look down to its left as it stands on a narrow rock rising from formalized waves, the sun on the tapering neck above the bird, with two bats in flight on the other main side, all against a background of formalized clouds; the exterior surfaces of both inner and outer bottle, except the footrim, glazed, the pupil of the crane’s eye and the eyes of the bats in black; the interior unglazed
Attributable to Wang Bingrong, Jingdezhen, 1820 – 1860
Height: 7.4 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.61/1.10 cm
Stopper: glass; vinyl collar

Robert Hall (1992)

Kleiner 1995, no. 238
Treasury 6, no. 1360

British Museum, London, June–October 1995
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July–November 1997

Although they are unsigned, we are reasonably confident in attributing this bottle and Sale 3, lot 52 to Wang Bingrong. Both have so many features in common with his work that they barely need a signature, but in any case a bottle very similar to this one is extant with his signature. (It also has his oft-employed yellow glaze; see Souksi 2000, no. 92.) There are also other features that would help to identify this work as his. The interior is unglazed, as with his other bottles, and the shape is known to have been produced by him. It has a double body, a feature in which Wang specialized (having been inspired, no doubt, by Jiaqing moulded porcelain bottles made for the court) and one that is very rare from any other artist. It is covered with the standard caramel brown glaze he used so often on his entire range of wares; moreover, the clouds are formalized in exactly the same manner as those on the three imperial dragon bottles in this collection: the shapes of gaps left between the clouds is the same, as is their treatment where they meet the footrim on the side with the bats.


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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