Lot 158 Lot 158 Lot 158 Lot 158 Lot 159 Lot 159 Lot 159

photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 158 

Lot 158

Lot 158
Treasury 5, no. 1040 (‘Autumn Hall Enjoyment’)

Brown-streaked, transparent ruby-red, sapphire-blue, slightly streaky turquoise-blue, brown-streaked green, yellow, and translucent white glass; with a flat lip and recessed, slightly convex foot surrounded by a protruding flattened foot rim; carved as a single overlay with a continuous design of a rocky landscape with an open pavilion improbably set upon a perforated rock formation from which a peach tree grows, beneath which an old man strolls across a plank bridge, followed by a crane and a bat, with two boys playing among trees beside another perforated rock and two birds flying overhead, inscribed in seal script Qiuzha wan 秋查玩 (‘For the enjoyment of Qiuzha’)
Probably Yangzhou, 1830 - 1890
Height: 5.4 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.72/1.49 cm
Stopper: mother-of-pearl; gilt-silver collar

Kaynes-Klitz Collection
Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 30 October 1990, lot 14

JICSBS,Winter, 1990, p. 40, fig. 4
Kleiner, Yang, and Shangraw 1994, no. 115
Treasury 5, no. 1040

Hong Kong Museum of Art, March - June 1994
National Museum, Singapore, November 1994 – February 1995

The consultants on Treasury 5 read the name on this bottle as Qiutang (probably written 秋堂); we think it is closer to Qiuzha 秋查, although the upper element in the second character on the bottle looks like 土 rather than 木. Both Qiutang and Qiuzha are possible names; neither has led us yet to anyone who can be associated with Yangzhou.

This bottle displays several atypical features, including the use of a streaked green that resembles that on Sale 6, lot 245, and also unusually rounded, three-dimensional carving. A red overlay in the J & J Collection (Moss, Graham, and Tsang 1993, no. 404) provides suggestive links. A tree on one side is obviously executed by the same carver or designer as the one behind the two boys here. The composition of the trunks is identical, in each case dividing to form a visual loop, with one branch curling downwards and the other upwards. This is a compositional device of the kind often indicative of a particular artist, despite apparent differences in style.

Sale 6, lot 245, has the appearance of a typical Beijing product (whether from the imperial glassworks or a private lapidary workshop), suggesting that these bottles belong to the late-eighteenth – early-nineteenth-century overlay glass manufacture in Yangzhou under the influence of courtly style.

The likelihood that this is an early work, reflecting a period of transition from one style to the next, is suggested also by the rather hesitant nature of details carved from the foot-rim colour. Here the small group of foreground rocks lacks artistic confidence and is barely coherent, as if the carver were feeling his way.

On the other hand, this bottle has much in common Sale 7, lot 115, a bottle made for Li Yunting 李韻亭 (see Moss and Sargent 2011) sometime after 1870. It exhibits not only the same high-relief carving style but is of the same lovely, transparent turquoise-blue overlay that appears here on the perforated rock—which is also carved in a very similar manner.

Moreover, the details of the foot rim are similar to those in Sale 4, lot 3, which bears the name Yunting 均亭 and is dated 1880. Other similar foot rims are seen on Sale 3, lot 16; Sale 4, lot 142; Sale 6, lot 214; Sale 8, lots 1023 (although this was possibly made before 1848) and 1123; and Sale 9, lot 140.


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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Hugh Moss |