A large 'Cizhou' sgraffiato 'Peony' baluster vase , Song-Jin Dynasty

A large 'Cizhou' sgraffiato 'Peony' baluster vase , Song-Jin DynastyEstimate 40,000 — 60,000 GBP (54,260 - 81,390 EUR). Photo courtesy Sotheby's.

the globular body rising from a tapering recessed base to a short broad neck with everted rim, covered overall with a thick lustrous dark chocolate-brown glaze superbly carved through to the buff ground with a broad band of meandering leafy blossoming peony, all between line borders and a band of overlapping stiff leaves at the base and a leafy scroll band at the shoulder, the footring unglazed, Japanese wood box. Quantité: 2 - 29.3cm., 11 1/2 in.

ProvenanceSotheby's London, 8th November 2006, lot 61. 
An English Private Collection.

NotesThis jar belongs to a well-known type of Cizhou ware, but the large fluidly rendered flower-scrolls are particularly elaborate and pleasantly laid out on the vessel surface. The jar is also unusually elegant in outline compared to the more commonly found globular shapes. The sgraffiato technique used to decorate this jar, in which the design is carved through two different types of slip, one black and one white, helped achieve a spectacular contrasting effect in the design. Although several jars of similar form and design are known, they are quite individual in style, apparently produced one by one and not in a series, and can differ considerably both in their proportions and in the rendering of the scroll and enclosing borders. This jar is also unusual for its glazed rim. Jars of this type are generally left with an unglazed rim as a cover would have concealed the rim.  

See a related Cizhou jar from the Scheinman collection included in the exhibition Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Mass., 1995, cat.no. 69; and another jar of this type, from the Malcolm collection and exhibited at the Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, in the winter of 1936-37, sold in these rooms, 29th March 1977.

For other comparable examples see a jar from the Manthorne collection, sold in our New York rooms, 4th November 1978, lot 116; and one of a pair, from the collection of the late Joanne Cummings, sold at Christie's New York, 19th September 1996, lot 255.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, Londres, 13 mai 2015, 11:00 AM