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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 93 

Lot 93

Lot 93
Treasury 5, no. 842 (‘Palace Gold’)
HK$87,500

Transparent golden-yellow glass containing a few scattered air bubbles, mostly of small size with some elongated, and with one large one; with a flat lip and recessed, slightly convex foot surrounded by a protruding rounded foot rim; carved on each main side with a formalized mallow flower, the narrow sides with mask-and-ring handles
Attributable to the imperial glassworks, Beijing, 1725-1790
Height: 5.46 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.60/1.37 cm
Stopper: tourmaline; vinyl collar

Provenance:
Julie and Al Stempel
Sotheby’s (PB84), New York, 11 October 1979, lot 41
Gerd Lester (1986)

Published:
Hong Kong and Hong Kong Chinese Snuff Bottle Society 1977, p. 33, no. 34
Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 96
Treasury 5, no. 842

Exhibited:
Hong Kong Museum of Art, October 1977
Hong Kong Museum of Art, March-June 1994
National Museum, Singapore, November 1994-February 1995

The pitfalls of seeking to distinguish blown glass from its equivalent carved from the solid by a lapidary are illustrated by this example and Sale 2, lot 153, also carved with a formalized mallow flower. One would be forgiven for assuming them to have been made in the same manner, but this one is blown and the other is carved from a solid block.

Their weight provides our first clue, for despite being considerably larger, this one weighs almost exactly the same as the other. On this example a series of elongated air bubbles at the neck reveal it to have been blown, evidence validated by the slightly undulating line of the inner cylinder of the neck, where the lapidary straightened out the inside of the neck. Sale 2, lot 153 exhibits difference in neither shape nor finish between the inner neck and the rest of the hollowing, but final proof that it is carved from a block lies in subtle streaking of the glass itself. The bottle form cuts straight through this, leaving barely visible striations running in straight lines across the entire neck. We may be certain it was not blown, for the blowing process would have stretched the streaks to some extent away from the energy of the blow-iron.

Nothing here would necessarily preclude a Yongzheng date, although a Qianlong one is more likely, and attribution to the imperial glassworks also seems reasonable. It displays typical courtly mask handles with relatively small and completely circular rings, which would suggest an early date were it not for a very similar bottle in the J & J Collection of the same colour and decoration, which has slightly elongated oval rings and which must be related (Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, no. 357).

 

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=2219&exhibition=17&ee_lang=eng


  
  

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