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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 60 

Lot 60

Lot 60
Treasury 5, no. 711 (‘Frozen Petals’)

Translucent milky-white glass with inclusions of particles of transparent pale emerald-green, pale sapphire-blue, and opaque dark cinnabar-red glass, suffused with air bubbles of various sizes, some elongated; with a flat lip and concave foot surrounded by a flat foot rim
Height: 3.82 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.69/1.15 cm
Stopper: carnelian; vinyl collar

Wing Hing, Hong Kong (1985)

Treasury 5, no. 711

Technically, the circular concavities that form integral snuff dishes are impressed into each main side, rather than being carved by the lapidary. This could be very easily done while the glass was still malleable. The interior of this snuff bottle has a convex bulge where the wall of the bottle was pressed in. The interior also has a natural fire-polish, while the exterior detailing and polishing have been executed by the lapidary, as is evident from the large number of bubbles that are cut through at the surface. In some cases these bubbles are filled with a yellowish-brown stain, which at first glance closely resembles the yellow glass inclusions, making them seem more plentiful than they are.

The concave main sides are, of course, a practical feature acting as integral snuff dishes where lumps of snuff can be crushed before being snuffed. The existence of an integral snuff dish does not of itself prove an early date, although we think the integral dish preceded the separate one. Once this design feature was part of the repertoire it would remain an option indefinitely, adding, perhaps, a little antique resonance to a form. Although a useful dating guide in some cases, particularly with groups of bottles, it provides scant assistance in this particular case.


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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