Lot 6. A quatrefoil white Dingyao dish,Five dynasties, 10th Century; 16.8cm., 6 5/8 in. Estimate 30,000—40,000 GBP. Lot Sold 37,250 GBP. Photo Sotheby's 2011


Lot 6. A quatrefoil white Dingyao dish,Five dynasties, 10th Century; 16.8cm., 6 5/8 in. Estimate 30,000—40,000 GBPLot Sold 37,250 GBP. Photo Sotheby's 2011

thinly potted, with flat centre and conical sides, the rim cut into four deep bracket foliations forming sharp points and deep undulations, the white stoneware body covered with a tactile ivory-tinged glaze with characteristic darker 'tears' on the outside, and leaving the base, footring and part of the sides in the biscuit; in Japanese ribbon-tied paulownia-wood box and cover, lined and fitted with purple silk and covered with matching silk cushion, and brown cotton furoshiki with inscribed wooden tag.

Exhibited: Chūgoku ko tōji. Tō Sō meiji ten [Ancient Chinese ceramics: Exhibition of important Tang and Song ceramics], Shirokiya Department Store, Nihonbashi, Tokyo, 1964, cat. no. 208.

Chūgoku no tōji/Special Exhibition of Chinese Ceramics, Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, 1994, cat. no. 138.

The dish was included in at least one other unidentified exhibition, probably in Kyoto (exhibition label preserved).

Note: This elegant, crisply-cut shape is very different from the various lobed flower shapes that became popular with north China's white ware kilns from the late Tang to the early Song period, and would seem to indicate a silver prototype. The form is included in a series of line drawings of typical 'Ding' white wares of the late Tang and Five Dynasties, published in the exhibition catalogue Bright as Silver, White as Snow, Denver Art Museum, Denver, 1988, p. 38, fig. 7: 10. Dishes of this type were probably made both by the 'Ding' and 'Xing' white ware kilns of Hebei, but the present example, which bears characteristic ivory-coloured glaze 'tears' on the exterior, is more likely to originate from the 'Ding' manufactories of Quyang in Ding county. 

A similar dish is illustrated in Sekai tōji zenshū/Ceramic Art of the World, volume 11: Sui Tō/Sui and T'ang Dynasties, Tokyo, 1976, pls 90-91; one from the Muwentang collection, included in the exhibition Song Ceramics from the Kwan Collection, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1994, cat. no. 8, was sold in these rooms, 12th November 2003, lot 1; and one from the Falk collection, included in the exhibition Selections of Chinese Art from Private Collections in the Metropolitan Area, China House Gallery, New York, 1966-7, cat. no. 36, was sold at Christie's New York, 20th September 2001, lot 44; a dish attributed to the 'Xing' kilns is illustrated in Bo Gyllensvärd, Chinese Ceramics in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1964, pl. 341; another in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994-2010, vol. 3, no. 1414.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, 11 May 11, London