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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 31 

Lot 31

Lot 31
Treasury 5, no. 676 (‘Quiet Fire’)

Transparent ruby-red glass, with two medium sized air bubbles; with a flat lip and recessed, slightly concave foot surrounded by a protruding rounded foot rim
Height: 5.08 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.79/1.70 cm
Stopper: stained walrus ivory; mother-of-pearl collar

Gerd Lester (1986)

Treasury 5, no. 676

This bottle is likely to be imperial. While the wide mouth and widely flared neck are distinctive, with so little concrete evidence regarding what constitutes the early undecorated-glass production of the imperial glassworks, such formal clues are none too illuminating. However, the form of this example is typical of the Yongzheng or Qianlong periods, which seem to be the most likely period of manufacture. Although purer than known Yongzheng ruby-red glass, it contains minor streaking, irregular, scattered bubbles, and even some small impurities in the glass (known as ‘stones’ and consisting of material that has not completely melted into the glass mixture).

Quite apart the material itself, the execution is convincing. As with lot 109 in this auction, the detailing of the mouth and foot are excellent, and the formal integrity of the outside is impeccable. The inner bubble does not match the outer form, but this was a fairly common occurrence with blown glass vessels.


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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