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photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 30 

Lot 30

Lot 30
(‘In Search of Fragrance’)

Translucent honey-beige and brown agate; well hollowed, with a concave lip and protruding flat foot; carved with a silhouette design on one main side with Meng Haoran on his donkey holding a branch of prunus blossoms, a banner above inscribed in negative regular script Shili zhi huaxiang 十里枝花香 (‘Ten miles, the fragrance of a branch of blossoms’)
Height: 4.4 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.70/1.68 cm
Stopper: glass, carved with a coiled chi dragon; gilt-bronze collar

Robert Kleiner, April 2005

Many of the finest silhouette agate bottles seem to date from the first half of the nineteenth century, judging from regular compromises in the hollowing and detailing of mouth, lip and foot. Here the simpler protruding flat foot suggests a later work in this case. A protruding flat foot may have existed for early glass snuff bottles, but for a bottle from the eighteenth century made for distribution to meritorious officials it would be an exception, as is the miniature scale of this bottle.

We can identify this figure as Meng Haoran, as by the late-Qing his image in search of plum blossoms had become so commonplace, there was really no alternative interpretation of a figure on a donkey with prunus.


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


Easy link to this page: http://www.e-yaji.com/auction/photo.php?photo=2288&exhibition=17&ee_lang=eng


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