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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part IX  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 24 November 2014: Lot 80 

Lot 80

Lot 80
Treasury 5, no. 888 (‘Triple Prosperity’)

Transparent ruby-red glass and slightly milky glass, suffused with air bubbles of various sizes; with a flat lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding rounded foot rim made up of elements of the design; carved as a single overlay with a circular panel on each main side, each containing a design of formalized waves above which are a yinyang symbol contained in a circular frame and two star constellations, one side with the sun, the other with the moon set between stars, each circular panel framed with a rope border that extends around the shoulders and under the foot to form the foot rim, enclosing on the narrow sides a pattern of prunus blossoms on a formalized lattice-work ground, probably intended to be cracked ice
Attributable to the imperial glassworks, Beijing, 1736-1780
Height: 5.72 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.69/1.42 cm
Stopper: glass; glass finial; vinyl collar

Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 28 October 1992, lot 298

Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 103
Treasury 5, no. 888

Hong Kong Museum of Art, March – June 1994
National Museum of Singapore, November 1994 – February 1995

The temptation to attribute this example to the imperial glassworks is based on two main features it possesses that suggest a link to the court—in addition to the use of ruby-red glass, which may have been confined to court production during the earlier part of the eighteenth century. These are the rope border and circular panels of decoration. The ground and overlay colours are both very similar to Sale 6, lot 240, providing us with further endorsement of our attribution.

The design is rare among glass snuff bottles and, while rather formal, is impressive, exquisitely well carved, and certainly comparable with other bottles we attribute to the earlier part of the Qianlong period. The ground plane likewise displays the impeccable integrity we would expect of an early date. While the first half of the Qianlong period must remain its most likely date, it might have been made as late as the mid-reign.


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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