An extremely rare and superb ruby-red overlay Peking glass jar and cover Seal mark and period of Qianlong | 清乾隆 雪霏地套寶石紅料庭園仕女嬰戲圖蓋罐 《乾隆年製》款
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection 傑出私人收藏
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection
An extremely rare and superb ruby-red overlay Peking glass jar and cover
Seal mark and period of Qianlong
清乾隆 雪霏地套寶石紅料庭園仕女嬰戲圖蓋罐 《乾隆年製》款
of ovoid shape, the deep red overlay skilfully carved in relief and undercut through to the translucent snowflake ground with numerous boys running playfully over a bridge, around a pavillion and along the rocky bank of a river under the shelter of pine, plantain and maple trees with two ladies in attendance, the children grasping weapons, flying flags and beating drums, all under a wheel-cut keyfret band at the rim, the domed cover encircled by further animated boys and surmounted by a pierced pavilion-shaped knop, the recessed base carved in relief with a red four-character seal mark
overall 19 cm
The jar and cover are in very good condition. There is a tiny approx. 0.2 cm burst bubble to the base of the cover's finial. There is minimal expected surface wear, especially to the edges of the overlay.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Collection of Harris Hammond, Bordentown, New Jersey.
Collection of Allen J. Mercher, Great Neck, Long Island.
Sotheby's New York, 9th October 1957, lot 42.
Collection of Walter F. Smith Jr., of Trenton, New Jersey.
Sotheby's London, 19th March 1968, lot 29.
Collection of W. Henrich.
Collection of Mrs T. and Professor Peter Hariolf Plesch.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 2nd May 1995, lot 202.
Harris Hammond 收藏，新澤西州 Bordentown
Allen J. Mercher 收藏，紐約長島大頸
Walter F. Smith Jr. 收藏，新澤西州 Trenton
W. Henrich 收藏
Peter Hariolf Plesch 教授伉儷收藏
Peter Hariolf Plesch, 'Some Approaches to the Study of Later Chinese Glass', Festschrift für Professor P.W. Meister, Hamburg, 1975, p. 77, fig. 14.
Peter Hariolf Plesch, 'Some Decorative Techniques Found in Later Chinese Glass', Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, vol. 44, 1979-80, pls 7a-c.
Sotheby's Thirty Years in Hong Kong: 1973-2003, Hong Kong, 2003, pl. 444.
Peter Hariolf Plesch，〈Some Approaches to the Study of Later Chinese Glass〉，《Festschrift für Professor P.W. Meister》，漢堡，1975年，頁77，圖14
Peter Hariolf Plesch，〈Some Decorative Techniques Found in Later Chinese Glass〉，《東方陶瓷學會彙刊》，卷44，1979-80年，圖版7a-c
Meisterwerke der Glaskunst aus internationalem Privatbesitz, Kunstmuseum, Dusseldorf, 1968-1969, cat. no. 350.
Cameo Glass: Masterpieces from 2000 Years of Glassmaking, The Corning Museum of Glass, New York, 1982, cat. no. 22.
《Meisterwerke der Glaskunst aus internationalem Privatbesitz》，Kunstmuseum，杜塞爾多夫，1968-1969年，編號350
《Cameo Glass: Masterpieces from 2000 Years of Glassmaking》，康寧玻璃博物館，紐約，1982年，編號22
Professor Peter Hariolf Plesch in 'Some Decorative Techniques Found in Later Chinese Glass', op.cit., p. 48, notes on the present piece that "Chinese glass was carved by craftsmen who were by training, or at least by tradition lapidaries. Following that tradition, the best of them sought to give the decoration a three-dimensional quality which characterises the work of the best jade carvers". He further mentions ibid., pp. 53-55, that "the composition and execution of the design, the attention to detail, and the meticulous after - polishing of all the surfaces on this 'Playing Boys Jar' set a standard which is attained only by few pieces of similar size known to us, and is rare even in snuff bottles". The pavillion forming the knop of the cover was also laboriously cut from a solid layer of thick red glass and is a fine example of the very high level of workmanship achieved by this time.
Glasswares of this exceptional quality and craftsmanship were produced in the Glass House in the Forbidden City. The glass workshop was established in 1696 under the jurisdiction of the Zaobanchu. It was supervised by Kilian Stumpf, a Jesuit missionary with the scientific skills of glassmaking. Kilian is said to have introduced the art of glassmaking to the court and was in charge of hiring two other French Jesuit glass craftsmen, known as Vilatte and d'Andigne, along with a few talented Chinese artisans from Yanshen and Guangzhou to work in the Glass House. By Qianlong's reign glassmaking reached its zenith, especially with the help of further two Jesuit missionaries Gabriel-Leonard de Brossard and Pierre d'Incarville who introduced new designs and successfully produced glass types not seen before. The Qianlong Emperor was particular about glasswares produced in the Glass House and palace records show that "when the emperor was pleased with their standard of workmanship, he learned the names of the various officials responsible for the wares, and ordered them to be rewarded with generous amounts of silver. However, if he was irritated by the poor quality of the glassware, he would impose a series of penalties including the reduction of wages, and make the glassworks bear all the manufacturing costs." (Emily B. Curtis, 'Qing Glassmaking. The Jesuit Workshop on Canchikou', Luster of Autumn Water, Beijing, 2004, p. 98).
See a closely related Qianlong mark and period ruby-red overlay jar and cover, of slightly bigger size, but similarly carved in relief and undercut through to the translucent snowflake ground with boys playing around a pavillion and ladies in attendance, also with a pierced pavilion-shaped knop, sold in our London rooms, 20th June 2001, lot 111. Compare also a pair of bottle vases, carved through the red overlay on snowflake ground with the immortals in various pursuit against the background of rocks and pine trees, included in the exhibition Elegance and Radiance, The Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2000, cat. no. 111.
It is also unusual to find such a finely written seal mark on the base, precisely cut through the overlay rather than wheel-engraved. One jar with a Qianlong mark of this type was sold in these rooms, 12th May 1983, lot 277, and again in our London rooms, 17th November 1999, lot 788.
普萊氏教授在1979-80年倫敦東方陶瓷學會刊發表的〈Some Decorative Techniques Found in Later Chinese Glass [中國晚期玻璃器中的裝飾技術]〉一文中提及此器，頁48：中國玻璃器由經驗豐富的能工巧匠雕琢而成，秉承傳統，所雕琢之紋飾如精緻的玉器，賦予立體質感；頁53-55：此罐的設計、構圖、工藝、細節點綴至拋光打磨於方寸之間，所見他例寥寥無幾，即使在鼻煙壺中也少見。精緻的亭臺式蓋鈕，層次分明生動，展示了當時高超的藝術水平，堪為鬼斧神工。