Lot 1009 Lot 1010 Lot 1011 Lot 1012 Lot 1013 Lot 1014 Lot 1015

photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VIII  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 26 May 2014: Lot 1012 

Lot 1012
More images

Lot 1012
Treasury 6, nos. 1417 & 1418 (‘Embracing Righteousness’)

Colourless glaze on cobalt on porcelain; two bottles, each with a recessed flat foot surrounded by a convex foot rim; each painted under the glaze with an identical composition of twelve wild geese on and around a waterside bank with reeds, the neck with a band of formalized lingzhi; the foot inscribed in underglaze-blue regular script, Siyi tang zhi 思義堂製 (‘Made for the Hall of Embracing Righteousness’); the lips, inner necks, and interiors glazed
Jingdezhen, 1840–1900
Heights: 6.9 and 6.83 cm
Mouths/lips: 1.1/1.49 and 1.12/1.57 cm
Stoppers: coral, each carved with coiled chi dragon

Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd (1979)
Belfort Collection (1986)

Jutheau 1980, p. 89
Très précieuses tabatières chinoises, p. 5, nos. 1 and 2
Kleiner 1987, no. 228
Treasury 6, nos. 1417 & 1418

L’Arcade Chaumet, Paris, June 1982
Creditanstalt, Vienna, May–June 1993
Sydney L. Moss Ltd, London, October 1987

These two bottles have previously been dated rather earlier than they are likely to be, based mainly upon the obvious quality of the porcelain and glaze and on the rather unusual and delightful subject, linked with a lingering belief that nothing much of quality was made in the latter part of the nineteenth century. This is, of course, nonsense. Today we know that porcelain of very high standards was made throughout the Qing and even after the end of the dynasty.
Furthermore, there are clues that point to a late-Qing date of production here, as opposed to the earlier nineteenth century, namely, the corrupted lingzhi-head bands at the necks, which have become an almost illegible pattern, and the rather harsh quality of the blue.

The main subject is taken from a traditional scene, well-known in Chinese painting, of geese returning to sandbanks among the reeds at dusk.

It is impressive to have a ‘pair’ of these bottles but, as is usually the case, they are not really a pair at all, but two of identical design from a larger series. Another of the set survives, of the same design and with the same hall name (Low, 2002, no. 197).

Siyi tang is a name used by several businesses in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including pharmacies (which may be significant in view of the fact that the name on lot 1147 in this auction is possibly that of a pharmacy). A few individuals seem to have used it, also. At this point, we can only hope that evidence will someday be found to tie this bottle to a particular person or enterprise.


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=1980&exhibition=13&ee_lang=eng


Lot 1009 Lot 1010 Lot 1011 Lot 1012 Lot 1013 Lot 1014 Lot 1015


Hugh Moss |