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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 62 

Lot 62

Lot 62
Treasury 6, no. 1166 (‘Hidden Bats’)
HK$93,750

Finely crackled transparent turquoise glaze on porcelain; with a flat lip and slightly convex bulging rectangular foot, the two main sides with recessed convex panels; engraved on each main side with a repeated design of a formalized bat, its wingtips interlinked with rather similar-looking floral scroll above a formalized circular shou (‘longevity’) character, beneath which a pair of beribboned fish rise at an angle and touch a small circle on the central axis beneath the shou emblem, with a hanging stone chime below them flanked by formalized floral scrolls; the neck and narrow sides with a formalized floral design; the foot inscribed in seal script Da Qing Qianlong nian zhi 大清乾隆年製 (‘Made in the Qianlong era of the Qing dynasty’); the exterior surfaces, including lip and foot, all covered with turquoise glaze; the interior unglazed
Imperial kilns, Jingdezhen, 1770–1799
Height: 5.95 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.6/1.8 cm
Stopper: glass

Provenance:
China Guardian, 28 October 1998, lot1164
Hugh Moss (HK) Ltd (1999)

Published:
Treasury 6, no. 1166

This is a rare monochrome snuff bottle that can be confidently dated to the second half of the reign. Pooling of the glaze partly obscures the reign mark, but the character long is still legible. Even without its barely legible mark, the form is from the Qianlong period, with its radically flattened, spherical shape, flared neck, and recessed convex panels on each main side.

How it was fired is an intriguing question, since all exterior surfaces are glazed and there are no signs of any spur marks. That eliminates the standard methods of standing it on an unglazed foot rim, on an unglazed neck, or on spurs. It was presumably fired on a rod of some kind, narrower than the mouth of the bottle and fixed to the sagger in some way so that it could support it upside down. Such a rod could have been inserted into the interior of the inverted bottle where it would leave no mark on the unglazed interior. An inverted position in the kiln is confirmed by the pooling of glaze on the main panels and one thick tear of glaze running from the foot onto one main side. The evidence of pooling of the glaze in the panels also suggests that the bottle rested on its rod at an angle laterally and also slumped backwards slightly.

 

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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