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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 73 

Lot 73

Lot 73
Treasury 5, no. 729 (‘Feathered Realgar’)
HK$15,000

Semi-translucent dark mahogany-red, transparent ruby-red, and translucent orange, yellow, and green glass sandwiched between and emerging in places at the outer surface of two layers of colourless glass, sparsely suffused with air bubbles of various sizes; with a concave lip and flat foot
1720-1840
Height: 5.33 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.60/1.63 cm
Stopper: coral, carved with a rose and an aster amidst leaves

Provenance:
Belfort Collection (1986)

Published:
Treasury 5, no. 729

It is sometimes difficult to judge whether additional colour has been added to the outer layer of glass, or whether it is a case of the sandwiched layer coming to the surface. Here we appear to have an instance of the sandwiched colour emerging at the neck and shoulders, bringing it either to the surface or close to it. Observing the mouth from above, it is obvious that while some of the sandwiched layer is caught between the inner and outer layers, parts of it emerge at the surface of the outer neck. This indicates extensive lapidary work in this area after the bottle was removed from the mould.

The colouring of this example is part of a broad range sometimes resembling agate or jasper. Reference to this range may have been the intention of early writers mentioning glass bottles resembling agate, but such bottles are as likely to have evolved from the glassmaker’s art as they are to have been inspired by minerals.

Feathering of the colours is an interesting feature of this example. It exhibits an effect similar to that of old end-papers for books, in which different colours are laid on the paper’s surface in lines, then a feather run across them, dragging the colours into one other. It may have been achieved in a similar manner, bands of molten colour being dragged across each other (although not with a feather) prior to the outer layer being added.

 

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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