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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VIII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 May 2014: Lot 1004 

Lot 1004
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Lot 1004
Treasury 4, no. 482 (‘Zhou Leyuan’s Consummate Perfection’)

Glass, ink, and watercolours; with a slightly concave lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding flattened foot rim; painted on one main side with a group of auspicious objects (a natural rock sculpture, a porcelain vase with crackled glaze and ring handles containing peonies, a low jardinière, probably intended to be Yixing pottery, containing calamus and a tripod incense burner), inscribed in draft script with an encomium on the rock sculpture, followed by Gengyin mengxia Zhou Leyuan zuo 庚寅孟夏周樂元作 (‘Executed by Zhou Leyuan in the First Summer month in the year gengyin’) with one seal of the artist, yuan, in negative seal script, the other main side with a fisherman punting his boat on a river beneath a plateau with an open pavilion and a copse of pine and other trees, the mountains rising up from the other side of the river shrouded in mist and clouds, beneath which is visible a waterfall feeding the river
Zhou Leyuan, Studio of Lotus-root Fragrance, Xuannan, Beijing, fourth lunar month, 1890
Height: 6.18 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.5/1.5 cm
Stopper: bone; bronze collar

Hugh M. Moss Ltd (prior to 1975)
Robert Hall (1990)
Hugh M. Moss Ltd (1992)

Hall 1990, no. 37
Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 318
Treasury 4, no. 482

Hong Kong Museum of Art, March–June 1994
National Museum, Singapore, November 1994–February 1995
Christie’s, London, 1999

The poem praising the rock reads


A rock of the Undying, of the finest kind,
Every part of exquisite elegance.
Security and peace, good fortune and honour;
‘The fire in the furnace burns perfectly blue.’

The final line is a common phrase taken from alchemy and refers to perfection in any endeavour.

This bottle belongs to Zhou’s later years. The landscape is the typical masterly, complex painting of a country idyll, with much less left-over space than tended to appear in some of his earlier landscapes. The blue tones that dominate his middle period are muted, although they return occasionally throughout the rest of his career.


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=1884&exhibition=13&ee_lang=eng


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