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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VIII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 May 2014: Lot 1044 

Lot 1044
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Lot 1044
Treasury 6, no. 1140 (‘Flying South’)

Famille rose enamels on translucent greenish, caramel-brown glass; with a flat lip and slightly recessed, slightly convex foot surrounded by a protruding convex foot rim; painted with a continuous scene of a crane standing on a grassy bank beneath a pine tree, with bamboo, lingzhi, and flowering peonies; the foot inscribed in pale iron-red seal script Qianlong nian zhi 乾隆年製 (‘Made during the Qianlong era’)
Imperial, attributable to Yangzhou, 1770–1790
Height: 6.1 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.72/1.39 cm
Stopper: turquoise; gilt-silver collar

Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd, 1995

Treasury 6, no. 1140

The Qianlong emperor remained fond of enamelled glass throughout his reign. However, there seems to have been an increase in production after 1767. That was the year of the completion of his intended retirement home within the Yuanming yuan. One part of the complex included a small pavilion or terrace called the Guyue xuan (‘Ancient Moon Pavilion’); it was not too far from the gate through which the emperor and his entourage exited the Yuanming yuan when going to the annual hunt at Mulan 木蘭 (now Weichang 圍場 Mongol and Manchu Autonomous County in north-eastern Hebei) and through which they returned. At this time, perhaps for use as rewards or souvenirs of the hunt, a range of experimental wares was produced bearing the Guyue xuan name alongside a similar range with Qianlong reign marks (see under Sale 7, lot 145). Sometime shortly thereafter, perhaps as early as the 1770s, the Qianlong emperor also began to order enamelled glass wares from a more distant facility, presumably one already capable of enamelling glass. These were marked either with the Guyue xuan designation or with a four-character reign mark, usually in iron-red seal script. This and Sale 1, lot 98; Sale 2, lot 123; Sale 6, lots 134 and 260; and Sale 7, lot 109, among others, represent this distant enamelling centre, which was probably Yangzhou. The various wares arising out of this mid-reign development in enamelled glass are also dealt with in JICSBS, Spring 2006.

One of the features of the evolving Yangzhou style is that while they were initially inspired by the Beijing Guyue xuan wares, which were simple and essentially decorative, they soon aspired to an independent painterly, artistic style quite unlike most of the Beijing wares. They employed a more subdued palette, and the enamels were also thinner – typical of Yangzhou enamelling of the classic group. As the Yangzhou school evolved, the enamelling became even more refined, painterly, and artistic.

The standard marks on Yangzhou enamelled wares were in iron red (only one exception in ruby-red enamel is known) and consist of four-character seal-script reign marks or seal-script Guyue xuan marks. (On bottles from the palace workshops the Guyue xuan mark on enamels was invariably written in regular script.) Very rarely is a bottle given any mark but these or left unmarked; but see Sale 1, lot 98 for Yangzhen qing shou 養真慶壽 (Nurture one’s true nature and celebrate long life) in place of a mark and Sale 2, lot 123 for a chi dragon in place of a mark. There are also several examples where the mark has been worn off or otherwise removed.


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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