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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VIII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 May 2014: Lot 1092 

Lot 1092
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Lot 1092
Treasury 6, no. 1329 (‘Yellow-Robed Monk’)
HK$87,500

Famille rose enamels on colourless glaze on porcelain; painted with a continuous scene of a yellow-robed monk (or lay devotee) holding an alms bowl, a fly-whisk hanging at his side, approaching a small plank bridge across an inlet to a misty expanse of water giving way, further to the right, to a mountainous landscape with blossoming fruit trees, pines, and clouds drifting among distant mountainous peaks, from which the path re-emerges again behind the pilgrim
Attributable to the imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, 1821–1850
Height: 6.18 cm
Mouth: 0.6 cm
Stopper: tourmaline; silver collar
Related Paraphernalia: Sold with a wooden stand

Provenance:
Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd (1994)

Published:
Treasury 6, no. 1329

This is one of the few designs on imperial porcelain bottles that are both continuous across all outer surfaces of the bottle and logical. Leaving the area at the bottom white to balance the undecorated white at the top of the bottle freed the artist from having to devise a foreground that made sense through all the transitions from water to mountain. Subject matter, composition, and execution are uniformly excellent; the mountain peaks and drifting clouds are particularly evocative. With Daoguang enamelling we are no longer dealing with the levels of art represented by the Tang Ying group of bottles. Landscape details have become more decorative and repetitious, with the same basic elements of rocks, tree types, and water re-arranged to suit new compositions. Similarly drawn rocks can be found on Sale 3, lot 75, for instance, which might have been produced by the same team of designer and enamellers. They are painted in the same manner and with identical enamels, right down to their transparency and texture, with green and blue mixed in the same way.

Others bottles of this compressed ovoid design are known with various subjects, and it was obviously one of the popular shapes of the reign. Despite the lack of reign mark, it is probably imperial: the enamels and quality of the painting are typical of the imperial kilns, and the style can be found on other reign-marked bottles. Another unmarked bottle of this shape in the Barron Collection has a rare design of a frog and cricket on one side, and a cicada and pea- or bean-pods on the other.

 

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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