Snuff bottles formerly in the Mary and George Bloch collection (lots 100-146)
A 'realgar-glass' snuff bottle
Qing dynasty, 1720-1840 Of opaque, variegated scarlet, orange, yellow, green, mahogany-brown, and dark brown glass, with a flat lip and flat foot. 6cm high.
Provenance 來源: Gerd Lester (1986)
Illustrated 出版: Robert Kleiner, Yang Boda, and Clarence F. Shangraw, Chinese Snuff Bottles: A Miniature Art from the Collection of George and Mary Bloch, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1994, no.81. 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 708
Exhibited 展覽: Hong Kong Museum of Art, March-June 1994 National Museum, Singapore, November 1994-February 1995
This example combines some surface splashes of the customary realgar colouring with the darker range of mahogany colours. In reality, it is only the way the colours are used that is unusual. Close examination of the surface reveals all the standard realgar-glass colours, but with the visual balance shifted to the darker ones. The narrow-side vertical lines of different colour reveal that, in common with so many of this shape, it was blown into a mould. In other regards, it is formally unusual. Extremely light compared to most bottles blown into moulds, this example has an unusually wide mouth, with an interior impeccably formed to perfectly match the exterior profile.
Another interesting feature is provided by the manner in which brighter colours were added to the surface here. Some of the colours are in discreet, angular segments, albeit swirled with other colours within the segment. It is obvious that chips or fragments of realgar-glass (cullet) have been laid on the marvering surface and rolled into the gatherthe most common way of achieving such surface decoration. As a rule, the gather would again be placed in the furnace to melt the two together before it was blown and further manipulated. Where the chips retain their original sharp edges, however, it is possible that the bottle was blown before the surface fragments were rolled in. The heat from the original gather may have been sufficient to integrate them, although it might be necessary to put the whole bottle into the furnace to help this process.