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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 November 2013: Lot 12 

Lot 12

Lot 12
Treasury 5, no. 682 (‘Hidden Pearl’)

Semi-transparent, streaked, milky white glass with a few small air bubbles; with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding flat foot
Height: 3.95 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.59/1.45 cm
Stopper: coral; turquoise collar

Fahardi, New York (1977)
Gerd Lester (1986)

Kleiner 1995, no.125
Treasury 5, no. 682

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

Although there is some ambiguity in relation to the precise meaning of early Chinese colour descriptions, we can be certain that white glass of various types was produced as early as the Kangxi period. Yang Boda tells us that in the middle of the reign white glass could range from seashell to pearl-white in colour, and that later in the reign the terms ‘lard-white’, ‘snow-white’, and ‘arrowroot-white’ came into use (Yang Boda 1987, p. 78).

There is every likelihood that this bottle was made at the imperial glassworks but, as we have to constantly remind ourselves, the fact that the odds are distinctly in favour of a palace attribution does not mean that it is necessarily correct. Aesthetically it is a lovely form, with an emphatic flare to the neck balanced by high shoulders. Adding to the formal equation is an unusual feature: the interior bubble, exquisitely well matched to the exterior form, is considerably smaller than one would expect, leaving very thick walls. This creates a misty, mysterious effect, as if the inner bubble were a pearl, hovering beyond grasp.


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=1793&exhibition=12&ee_lang=eng


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