Lot 154 Lot 154 Lot 155 Lot 155 Lot 155 Lot 155 Lot 155

photographer E-Yaji.
The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 155 

Lot 155

Lot 155
Treasury 5, no. 1013 (‘Nine Generations’)
HK$275,000

Opaque cinnabar-red, transparent emerald-green and translucent greenish caramel-beige glass, the green with scattered air bubbles of various sizes; with a flat lip and recessed flat foot surrounded by a protruding flattened foot rim; carved as a double overlay with a continuous rocky landscape scene in which nine Buddhist lions, one tethered to a hitching post, play with a beribboned, brocaded ball
Probably Yangzhou, 1850 - 1890
Height: 5.76 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.70/1.89 cm
Stopper: stained bone; gilt-bronze collar

Provenance:
Ching Wah Lee, San Francisco
Rare Art, New York
Gerd Lester (1986)

Published:
Kleiner 1987,no. 131
JICSBS, Autumn 1995, p. 9, figs. 21 and 22
Treasury 5, no. 1013

Exhibited:
Sydney L. Moss Ltd, London, October 1987
Creditanstalt, Vienna, May - June 1993

The theme of Buddhist lions appears on other examples from the multiple overlays of Yangzhou. Another version with this colour combination is in Stevens 1976, no. 255, and a similar composition is known in multi-coloured overlay on a white ground (JICSBS, June 1975, p. 13, top centre), while a different composition is found on an unusual example with a courtly-looking combination of six colours on a rare snowstorm ground (Sotheby’s, New York, 2 November 1982, lot 75, re-offered by Sotheby’s, London, 3 March 1987, lot 20, and again by Christie’s, Hong Kong, 24 October 1993, lot 625, whence it was illustrated by Kleiner 1993, no. 37, and offered yet again by Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 5 May 1994, lot 1275 - an interesting instance of a rare bottle that nobody seems to want to retain for very long).

This is a spectacular example in red on green on caramel-brown—an extremely popular colour combination. Stylistically linked with two bottles made for Yu Changsui 于昌遂 (1829 – 1863), it can probably be dated to shortly before Yu moved to Yangzhou in 1861 and sometime after he died. See Sale 3, lot 122 (the Chinese version gives more documentation and raises the possibility that Yu’s brother Changjin 昌進 might also be connected to these bottles) and Sale 6, lot 113.

In an unusual and amusing touch on one main side of the bottle, the carver has depicted two beasts partially obscured by green rocks of the middle plane. Among the problems related to double overlays is the difficulty of implying that something on the surface layer is set behind the layer beneath, for the superior relief is obvious, particularly from an angle. A typical example is furnished by boats cut off along the water-line by waves obviously a millimetre or so beneath the level of the boat, and we see it again with water buffalo wading in water. In such cases the lower plane of colour shows through at the edge, compromising the visual realism and accuracy of the depiction.

 

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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