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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part IX  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 24 November 2014: Lot 6 

Lot 6

Lot 6
Treasury 2, no. 252 (‘The Rhythmic-bell Crystal’)

Crystal, partly suffused with icy flaws; one of the two vessels of flattened formalized bell shape with a concave lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a flat foot rim, the other of drum shape with a flat lip and flat foot, carved in low relief with simulated drum-skin fixed with studs at top and bottom  
Attributable to the school of the Rustic Crystal Master, 1760 – 1880
Height: 5.37 cm (smaller vessel: 3.12 cm)
Mouth/lip: larger vessel, 0.47/1.23 and 1.13 cm (oval); smaller vessel, 0.43/1.37 and 1.30 cm (oval)
Stoppers: tourmaline; vinyl collars

Hugh M. Moss Ltd (1986)

Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 203
Treasury 2, no. 252

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

It is interesting to note that the interior hollowing of the larger, bell-shaped container does not follow the outer profile exactly but is deliberately curved to resemble a type of bell that evolved later. Early bells tended to have either an approximately straight-sided or even convex profile, whereas by the Ming dynasty, a second standard was established that was closer in style to the Western re-curved bell shape with its profile resembling a stretched ‘S’.

The style of hollowing, material, and what little relief carving there is all suggest that this is a product of the school of the Rustic Crystal Master (see Sale 8, lot 1021 and other links from that page). With the imaginative use of materials that was routine for this school, which favoured materials of the quartz family, the maker has separated the two forms by using the more heavily flawed material with its suffusion of net-like markings for the drum, while the bell-shaped container is of clear crystal. The joining of the two containers here follows the standard for curving surfaces, where the curved drum shape blends into the flat side of the bell shape, sharing its wall to give a better bond and visually combine the two forms more securely.


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=2049&exhibition=14&ee_lang=eng


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