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The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part X  
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 1 June 2015: Lot 14 

Lot 14

Lot 14
Treasury 2, no. 259 (‘The Impeccable Official Bloodstone’)

Jasper; very well hollowed, with a flat lip and recessed, very slightly convex foot surrounded by a rounded foot rim
Height: 5.48 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.90/1.91 cm
Stopper: glass; gilt-silver collar

Hugh M. Moss Ltd (1995)

Treasury 2, no. 259

This is one of the great plain jasper bottles, set apart by its combination of material, technique, hollowing, and formal integrity. It is a superb example of a plain bottle that is formally and technically perfect. The unusual intensity of the colouring arises as much from the exciting variation in both the deep, rich, blood-red and the green ground as from the colours themselves, which are fairly standard for this type of jasper. Red and green are visually dynamic together under any circumstances, the red tending to appear as foreground while the green recedes into the background, giving even a flat image a sense of three-dimensionality. Here the markings are spectacularly dynamic

. There may be others to match it, and Sale 5, lot 163 is a contender, but none is better. The degree of compression of the sphere allows a sense of generosity without implying excess, and the gradual curve of the shoulders into the cylindrical neck, from either main or narrow-side views, is impeccably achieved. There is a faultlessly controlled foot rim, gently rounded to match the subtle play of curves of the body, surrounding a very slightly convex foot that comes within a hair’s-breadth of being flat. The final touch is the extensive hollowing through a generously proportioned mouth, leaving the walls unusually thin for an opaque material such as jasper, where the degree of hollowing was less critical, being invisible from the outside.


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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