Snuff bottles formerly in the Mary and George Bloch collection (lots 100-146)
A sapphire-blue aventurine-glass snuff bottle
Qing dynasty, 1720-1800 Of elongated cylindrical form with a concave inner and flat outer lip, resting on a concave foot, the glass of a sapphire-blue colour suffused with surface inclusions of aventurine-glass. 6.8cm high.
Provenance 來源: Hugh M. Moss Ltd., Hong Kong (1992)
Illustrated 出版: Hugh Moss, Victor Graham and Ka Bo Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles. The Mary and George Bloch Collection, Volume 5, Hong Kong, 2002, no. 718
Exhibited 展覽: British Museum, London, June-October 1995 Israel Museum, Jerusalem, July-November 1997
Although both the distribution of the aventurine-glass fragments and the detailing and finishing of this bottle are quite sophisticated, the blue ground here is suffused with a mass of air bubbles. They are barely visible, however, and there are no impurities in the glass. Air bubbles occur naturally in glass production, and to produce glass free of bubbles, it is necessary to refine them out of the mix. On the other hand, their presence in glass bottles throughout the Qing dynasty, including bottles of the very highest technical and artistic standards, suggests that they were appreciated, or at least tolerated as an aesthetic option. Their existence in a specimen does not, therefore, necessarily imply a carelessly refined batch of glass. On this lovely form, superb in its detail and finish, and very elegant, it can be assumed that air bubbles were a deliberate choice or, at the very least, considered so unobtrusive as to render the trouble of removing them from the batch not worth the effort.
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