Lot 75. An amber-glazed marbled pottery cup, Tang dynasty (618-907). Estimate 40,000 — 60,000 HKD (4,516 - 6,773 EUR). Lot sold 225,000 HKD (25,401 EUR). Photo: Sotheby's.
the rounded sides rising from a short splayed foot to a gently flaring rim, the brown and white clay marbled to produce a design of mixed dark and light irregular swirling stripes, covered overall in a clear amber glaze, stopping near the foot, revealing the unglazed body; 7.9 cm, 3 1/8 in.
Provenance: Sotheby's London, 19th November 1963, lot 31 (part, £30).
Bluett & Sons Ltd, London, 1963 (£30).
Collection of Roger Pilkington (1928-69), from 1963 (£50).
Note: The present piece is remarkable for its vibrant marble effect body that is covered by a luminous amber glaze. Wares of this type, known in Chinese as jiao tai, were a Tang dynasty innovation created by twisting and kneading together different coloured clays. A number of fragments of marbled wares have been unearthed at the Gongxian kilns at Huangye in Gongyi, Henan province, illustrated in Three-Colour Glazed Pottery Kilns of the Tang Dynasty at Huangye, Beijing, 2000, col. pl. 71, no. 9; as well as at the Liquanfang kilns in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, published in The Kiln Site of Tricolor-Glazed Pottery at Liquanfang in Chang’an Capital City of Tang Dynasty, Beijing, 2008, col. pl. 39.
A cup of this type, with a matching saucer, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in The Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum. Ceramics, vol. 5, Sui, Tang and Five Dynasties, Beijing, 2013, pl. 330, together with a green-glazed example, pl. 329; another cup from the collection of Dr Bo Ewert, was sold in our London rooms, 24th July 1973, lot 3; and a third example was sold in our New York rooms, 3rd December 1986, lot 123.