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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 3 

Lot 3

Lot 3
Treasury 5, no. 821 (‘Amber Longevity’)

Transparent amber-brown glass, lightly but extensively crizzled; with a concave lip and recessed convex foot surrounded by a protruding rounded foot rim; carved with a continuous design of thirty-six formalized shou (‘longevity’) characters
Imperial glassworks, Beijing, 1730-1770
Height: 5.58 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.59/2.04 cm
Stopper: aquamarine-blue glass, carved with an archaistic pattern of repeated ‘C’-scrolls; pearl finial

Sotheby’s, New York, 22 November 1988, lot 230
Robert Hall Auction, Boston, 10 October 1991, lot 98

Hall 1991, no. 98
Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994,no. 97
Treasury 5, no. 821

Offices of Maître Jutheau, Paris, September 1991
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Boston, October 1991
Hong Kong Museum of Art, March-June 1994
National Museum, Singapore, November 1994-February 1995

Grounds for attributing this bottle to the imperial glassworks are provided by the crizzling, a standard feature on early brown glass from the court, and found on the Qianlong-marked example of Sale 9, lot 66, as well as lot 132 in this auction. With the symbolism of the design—wishes for the long life for the recipient—this seems an ideal candidate for a palace-workshop product made for the emperor’s birthday.

This provides another example in which a concave lip appears with a polish different from the rest of the bottle, suggesting that it might originally have been flat, as was usually the case with early glass bottles. Although the form and appearance suggest it was carved from a solid block, the weight does not support this supposition, and evidence that it was blown is supplied by the lapidary-cut inner neck where it joins the natural bubble from the blow-iron at the inner shoulders.

This distinctive early stopper is of a standard, if rare, type discussed in Sale 1, lot 73.


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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