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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part IX  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 24 November 2014: Lot 42 

Lot 42

Lot 42
Treasury 5, no. 696 (‘Slice of Lime’)

Transparent lime-green glass with a few scattered air bubbles of various sizes; with a flat lip and flat foot
1750 – 1840
Height: 5.93 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.63/1.38 cm
Stopper: tourmaline; vinyl collar

Robert Hall (1987)

Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 84
Treasury 5, no. 696

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

This distinctive transparent pale lime-green colour seems to have been a Qianlong innovation, although it may have its origins in the colour of a small Yongzheng-marked cup from the Hope Danby Collection (S. Marchant & Son. 1999, no. 1). The colour is also related to a group of bottles carved from solid blocks of glass and discussed under Sale 4, lot 55. The solid-block versions, which come most commonly in either beryl-green or aquamarine-blue, seem to have been inspired by those two semi-precious stones. The likelihood that they were intended to imitate these stones is suggested by the fact that they are carved from blocks like hardstones rather than blown, giving them convincing weight.

The colour in this case, while a trifle more yellow than the solid-block bottles, is of the same general range of colours. These exaggeratedly flat forms seem to have become popular during the mid- to late-Qianlong period, from which time this might be expected to date. Since the imperial solid-block carvings appear to be from the mid-Qing, this may also be ascribed to that period. The glassblower has matched his inner bubble very carefully to the outer form, compromising only at the shoulders close to the neck, where the bubble, to remain natural, must be constricted by the narrow neck. But the lapidary has added his art, as well, carving away the naturally rounded narrow-side edges in order to create a thin, flattened plane less than a millimetre thick from shoulders to foot rim.


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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