An unusual set of a pale greysih-olive-glazed stoneware circulat tray and vessels. Sui dynasty  (581-618)

Comprising a large circular tray raised on four ring supports attached to the underside with double straps terminating in coiled ends, an ovoid vase with lipped rim and domed cover with bud finial; a small pear-shaped vase with compressed body and cup-shaped mouth; a small vase with compressed bulbous body applied with four stationary loop and ring handles sumounted by a trumpet mouth and raised on a pedestal foot; an oil lamp with a dish-shaped receptacle from which rises a central ribbed column encircled by a beaded band below another band with projecting rings and surmounted by a flaming pearl finial; and a model of an elliptical pillow incised with six double lines joining a pierced petal-carved calyx at each end, all of whitish ware covered with a finely crackled pale greyish-olive glaze - Tray 16 5/8 in. (42.2 cm.) diam., boxes (6) - Estimate: $120,000 - $150,000

Provenance : Acquired in Hong Kong prior to 2000.

Notes : A very similar tray excavated in 1959 in Anyang, Henan province from the tomb of Zhang Sheng, dated to 594, is illustrated in Zhongguo wenwu jinghua daci dian, Shanghai, 2002, p. 226, no. 169. Another similar tray, but raised on three, rather than four ring supports, is illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 9, Sui and Tang, Tokyo, 1955, p. 182, fig. 39.

A lamp of similar shape, but covered with a greyish-green glaze and dated to the Southern Dynasties period (420-589), unearthed in 1975 in Minhou, Fujian province, is illustrated in Zhongguo wenwu jinghua daci dian, op. cit., p. 218, no. 136.

For an elliptical cushion or pillow with tasseled ends held by a Tang dynasty earthenware figure of a servant, see P. Singer, An Enduring Shape, Oriental Art, vol. XV, no. 4, 1969, p. 295, fig. 7. A similar elliptical cushion can also be found supporting the head of the painted gray pottery figure of Kasyapa in Nirvana Pose dated Tang/Liao, sold in these rooms, 26 March 2003, lot 189.

The results of Oxford Authentication Ltd. test no. P104a42 is consistent with the dating of the oil lamp.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. 17 September 2008. New York, Rockefeller Plaza. www.christies.com