The sale of Snuff Bottles From the Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part VII achieved the total of HK$39.9 million / US$5.12 million, more than doubling the pre-sale estimate (HK$18.3 million / US$2.33 million*). All 183 lots of snuff bottles offered were 100% sold. The top lot was a Fine Imperial Enamelled Glass ‘Double-Gourd’ Snuff Bottle, Blue Enamel Mark and Period of Qianlong, which sold for HK$4.24 million / US$543,590.
Following on from the extraordinary success of the previous sale in May, the seventh part of Snuff Bottles from the Mary and George Bloch Collection will be offered on 26th November. The auction will consist of 183 lots of snuff bottles of every category and genre, reflecting the rich diversity and artistic skill of Qing dynasty craftsmanship.
Highlights of the sale include one of the finest quality enamel on glass snuff bottles remaining in private hands. Only a small number of these has been preserved, as the production method was so complex and difficult to achieve. Enamelled in ruby-red and white with stylised floral medallions, this auspicious double-gourd bottle is inscribed on the base with a four-character blue-enamel reign mark. It is notable for the elegance and simplicity of its two-colour design, contrasting with other enamel on glass bottles, which have a denser design in famille-rose enamels. The sheer skill of the enameller is demonstrated by the bold but subtle inclusion of a tiny ‘yin-yang’, a Daoist symbol hidden amidst the floral medallions.
This sale also includes two Beijing-enamel snuff bottles, both brilliantly enamelled with auspicious emblems of longevity, the first with a fruiting peach tree, bats and lingzhi, the second with bees and butterflies. They are extremely rare amongst Beijing enamel bottles for being enamelled on the interior in white, rather than turquoise-blue, and were clearly commissioned at the same time. The two bottles passed through the collections of Honor Smith and Dr Paula Hallett before being sold together in Sotheby’s New York in 1985.
Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery, 5/F One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Please note that Mr Hugh Moss acts as adviser to the Bloch family, including advising them on estimates and reserves of the Property in this sale. In addition, Mr. Moss may be bidding on any or all of the lots in this sale for himself or on behalf of third parties, and has therefore financial interest in the property. A world renowned collector of snuff bottles of this type, Mr Moss together with the late Victor Graham and Ka Bo Tsang, published the seven volume outstanding catalogue raisonné of the Property and assisted Sotheby’s in the cataloguing of the Property for this sale.
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