A large Cizhou-type russet-painted blackish-brown-glazed jar, China, Jin-Yuan Dynasty, 13th Century

Lot 852. A large Cizhou-type russet-painted blackish-brown-glazed jar, China, Jin-Yuan Dynasty, 13th Century 16 ¼ in. (41.3 cm.) highEstimate $20,000 - $30,000. Price Realized $60,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2015

The heavily potted, ovoid body covered with a lustrous blackish glaze freely painted around the sides in russet slip with two leafy stems, one bearing two large lotus blossoms, box

Provenance: The Collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, New York, acquired in Hong Kong, 1986.

NoteThis magnificent bottle boasts decoration of a blossoming peony plant. Lacking specific symbolism, brown and black glazes evolved alongside celadon glazes, often at the same kilns. Closely akin, celadon and dark glazes both rely on iron oxide as their coloring agent. Because the semi-opaque dark glazes would obscure underglaze designs, decoration was splashed or brush-painted on their surfaces in russet slip before firing. 

Related bottles include the example in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, illustrated in The Charles B. Hoyt Collection: Memorial Exhibition, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1952, p. 78, accession number 50.1593; the bottle illustrated by Henry John Anthony Kleinhenz, Pre-Ming Porcelains in the Chinese Ceramic Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, facsimile reproduction of a Ph.D. dissertation submitted to Case Western Reserve University, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1977, pp. 409-11; the bottle in The Tokyo National Museum, illustrated by Margaret Medley, Yüan Porcelain and Stoneware, London, 1974, opposite p. 132, color pl. H; and the bottle in the Tokyo National Museum,Chugoku no toji: Tokubetsuten (Chinese Ceramics: A Special Exhibition), Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, 1994, p. 151, no. 223. 

Christie's. THE COLLECTION OF ROBERT HATFIELD ELLSWORTH PART IV - CHINESE WORKS OF ART: METALWORK, SCULPTURE AND EARLY CERAMICS, 20 March 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza.