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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part IX  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 24 November 2014: Lot 85 

Lot 85

Lot 85
Treasury 4, no. 512 (‘A Quiet Nap Among Naughty Children’)

Glass, ink, and watercolours; with a concave lip and a recessed, slightly convex foot surrounded by a protruding flat foot rim; painted with a continuous design of a group of nine children taking advantage of the fact that their teacher has fallen asleep at his desk to be mischievous, one doing a handstand on a stool in front of a window through which a plantain tree can be seen, another climbing onto the desk, three more playing blind-man’s-buff, one holding the teacher’s hat on a pole in the air, one on his desk about to tickle his ear with a stick, while another, on the other side of the tutor, has a brush and is about to paint his face, with the last child beneath the desk and apparently about to remove the teacher’s footstool, the scene inscribed in draft script Bingshen zhongxia xie ying Qinlü baxiong daren zheng, zuo yu jingshi, Ye Zhongsan 丙申仲夏寫應琴侶八兄大人正作於京師葉仲三 (‘Executed by Ye Zhongsan at the capital in midsummer of the year bingshen for the corrections of Qinlü, the honourable eighth elder brother’), with one seal of the artist, yin 印 (‘seal’), in negative seal script
Ye Zhongsan, the Apricot Grove Studio, Chongwen district, Beijing, midsummer, 1896
Height: 5.95 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.58/1.55 cm
Stopper: glass; jadeite finial; vinyl collar

Wing Hing, Hong Kong (1985)

Kleiner 1987, no. 272
Treasury 4, no. 512

Sydney L. Moss Ltd, London, October 1987
Creditanstalt, Vienna, May–June 1993
Christie’s, London, 1999

This subject was devised by Zhou Leyuan (see Sale 5, lot 61), but Zhou was less comfortable with subject matter where figures predominated and tended to include figures in a lesser role and on a smaller scale. This is one of the compositions where Ye excelled the master. His early versions of the naughty children are always full of fun and delightfully painted, often in these subdued tones, which are less strident than those of Sale 5, lot 80, which was to become the family standard.

This is another of Ye’s early glass bottles that appear to be from a different maker than the standard (see under Sale 4, no. 123). Here, as on no. Sale 5, lot 80, the foot and foot rim are unusually well carved for a glass bottle of the Beijing school, and would not disgrace a fine crystal bottle.


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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