A rare Qingbai tortoise-form inkstone and cover, Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)

A rare Qingbai tortoise-form inkstone and cover, Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)

A rare Qingbai tortoise-form inkstone and cover, Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)

Lot 2828. A rare Qingbai tortoise-form inkstone and cover, Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279). Estimate HK$200,000 - HK$400,000 ($25,927 - $51,854). Price Realized HK$500,000 ($64,818)Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2015

The cover is realistically modelled in the form of a tortoise sticking its head out of the ridged shell that is moulded with a hexagonal pattern. The box in the form of the body of a tortoise with four feet at the sides is potted with a raised circular palette in the interior. The box and cover are covered with a transparent pale blue glaze except the interior of the cover, the rims, stud surface and base of the box which is pierced with a hole. The eyes of the tortoise are highlighted with iron-brown spots. 3 in. (7.5 cm.) wide, Japanese wood box

Literature: Christie's, The Classical Age of Chinese Ceramics: An Exhibition of Song Treasures from the Linyushanren Collection, Hong Kong, 2012, p. 151, no. 62

Exhibited: Christie's, The Classical Age of Chinese Ceramics: An Exhibition of Song Treasures from the Linyushanren Collection, Hong Kong, 22 to 27 November 2012; New York, 15 to 20 March 2013; London, 10 to 14 May 2013, Catalogue, no. 62

NotesIn Southern Song period, Qingbai wares reached its apogee. Among the wide range of porcelains fired in Qingbaikilns, a group of small objects suitable for the use in scholar’s studio is particularly distinctive. These small objects include censers, bird feeders, water droppers of various forms, and ink stones. This specially designed tortoise-form inkstone is extremely rare. The only other known example is from the Meiyintang Collection in the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994, vol. 1, p. 334, no. 624. This form was probably inspired by tortoise figurines produced in the same kilns, such as the one from the Meiyintang Collection in the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, illustrated ibid., vol. 1, p. 334, no. 625.

Christie's. THE CLASSIC AGE OF CHINESE CERAMICS - THE LINYUSHANREN COLLECTION, PART I, 2 December 2015, Convention Hall