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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part IX  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 24 November 2014: Lot 87 

Lot 87

Lot 87
Treasury 5, no. 695 (‘Emerald Teardrop’)
HK$9,375

Transparent emerald-green glass suffused with air bubbles of various sizes, some elongated; with a flat lip and recessed, flat foot surrounded by a protruding flattened foot rim
1740 – 1840
Height: 4.6 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.55/.96 cm
Stopper: pearl; vinyl collar

Provenance:
Alice B. McReynolds
Christie’s, Hong Kong, 2 October 1991, lot 1143 (three bottles)

Published:
Treasury 5, no. 695

In contrast to lot 11 in this auction, this is the standard emerald-green colour that appears early in the eighteenth century, and probably before. It may be suffused with air bubbles, but this is the colour that appears as a monochrome, and as the standard green upper layer on cameo-overlays, either by itself or in combination with up to eight other colours. Apparently used by a number of different schools of carving, it must have been a standard and easily achieved colour.

This offers another delightful example in which the glassblower, allowing the natural shape of the interior bubble to make its own contribution to the formal equation, has made little attempt to match it to the outer contour. It has an irregular, tear-drop shape on one side while curving in the opposite direction to the outer wall on the other.

Several air bubbles cut through at the surface offer proof that here, as on nearly all glass bottles, it was finished and polished by the lapidary. In blowing glass, these air bubbles will naturally be contained within the gather. Once the glass has solidified, however, the bubbles will be fixed. If the surface is ground and polished, those near the surface will be cut into, and remain as hemispherical depressions (if the bubbles are circular at that point). Close inspection of this example reveals them in a number of places.

The narrowness of the neck may be the result of past damage, but if so it rather effectively provides an upper emphasis for the misshapen interior air bubble. The entire bottle seems to be in the process of pouring itself from the stopper.

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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