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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part IX  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 24 November 2014: Lot 73 

Lot 73

Lot 73
Treasury 5, no. 816 (‘Facing the emperor’)

Transparent ruby-red glass with a few small air bubbles; with a flat lip and indented foot made up of elements of the design; carved on each main side with a formalized mallow flower, the narrow sides scalloped to accommodate the profile of the main decoration
1730 – 1780
Height: 5.9 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.90/1.72 cm
Stopper: plastic; glass collar

Illustration: watercolour by Peter Suart

Robert Hall (1987)

Hall 1987, no. 39
Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 95
Treasury 5, no. 816

Robert Hall, London, October 1987
Hong Kong Museum of Art, March – June 1994
National Museum of Singapore, November 1994 – February 1995

On the mallow, see Sale 2, lot 153. In this bottle, the design dictates the profile of the bottle so that the whole form (except for the neck) becomes mallow-shaped. The group represented by this example seems to have been made in sets—or at least in a series of similar bottles—perhaps over a number of years, since the quality of carving varies. Although there are several different ways of formalizing the design within the group, there are sufficient of this colour, shape and size to suggest that they were a standard design repeated from time to time. Examples are cited under Treasury 5, no. 816. The design for this entire group is cleverly conceived and superbly executed, with sensuously rounded contours and great presence. Their obvious appeal and widespread publication has encouraged some recent forgeries in various colours but particularly a deep emerald green with a layout far less generously conceived and less elegantly executed.


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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