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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VIII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 May 2014: Lot 1049 

Lot 1049
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Lot 1049
Treasury 5, no.892 (‘Xizhi’s Pleasure’)

Transparent ruby-red and colourless glass, both with scattered air bubbles of various different sizes, some elongated; with a concave lip; carved as a single overlay with a continuous design of three geese in a lotus pond, with formalized waves emanating from a vortex at the centre of the naturalistic foot, and with one raised boss
Height: 5.58 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.75/1.52 cm
Stopper: glass; vinyl collar

Zhirou Zhai Collection
Hugh M. Moss Ltd., Hong Kong (1993)

Treasury 5, no.892

This bottle exhibits fluent, fully rounded relief carving of technically impeccable quality. Most are similar bottles are on a colourless ground suffused to a greater or lesser extent with bubbles. The aim in this case, however, was to create a crystal-like colourless ground without the air bubbles assuming a positive decorative role.

Some of the wares from this hand do not appear to have been granted the respect they deserve, being of a rather subtle, understated colour combination (pale green on a colourless, bubbly ground, for instance) lacking the obvious appeal of a brightly contrasting colour upon white. They are, nevertheless, immensely rewarding when properly entertained, and the broader group is of major importance in the field. For others in the collection perhaps the work of the same individual, see lot 1113 in this auction, Sale 4, lot 80, and Sale 7, lot 93.

The formalized waves that issue from a vortex beneath the foot are an impressive variation on a theme derived from the carving of much-earlier jade decoration. The fluency of the carving leaves no evidence of the laborious process of grinding away excess material to achieve the required design and subsequently polishing it to the uniformly even surface and high gloss typical of the group.


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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