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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 53 

Lot 53

Lot 53
Treasury 2, no. 223 (‘The Silver Belted Agate’)
HK$35,000

Agate; very well hollowed, with a flat lip and concave foot surrounded by a narrow rounded foot rim
1740–1860
Height: 4.06 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.58/1.38 cm
Stopper: tourmaline

Provenance:
Joseph Baruch Silver
Clare Lawrence
Robert Kleiner (1992)

Published:
Treasury 2, no. 223

This is a relatively simple variation on the pear shape. The body tapers into a straight-sided neck, and there is no foot. The form’s appeal lies in its elegant and gently curved profile. With any bottle, when considering formal qualities, it is worth turning it in the hand to look at it from every possible angle, including top and bottom. With a plain form of this type, this is usually a rewarding exercise; where it is not, it will usually indicate a formal shortcoming. If one suddenly comes across one view that is not completely satisfying, it may indicate that sculpturally the work of art is short of being formally faultless.

In common with so many of the plain stone bottles once owned by Joey Silver, this is a faultlessly understated masterpiece. The banding is set horizontally and the material is translucent almost to the point of transparency. The symbolism of advancement through the official ranks is explained under lot 42 in this auction. The material is also delightfully banded above and below the strong white line, and the hollowing and detailing are excellent.

 

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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