A rare moulded Ding 'tortoise and crane' dish, Jin dynasty (1115-1234)

Lot 3113. A rare moulded Ding 'tortoise and crane' dish, Jin dynasty (1115-1234). Estimate HK$800,000 – HK$1,500,000 (US$103,470 - $194,006). Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2016.

The centre of the dish is moulded with a crane with its head backward-turned looking at a tortoise in a garden landscape with pierced rock and bamboo. The cavetto is decorated with a band of shaped panels, each enclosing a flowerhead and a butterfly, below a band of keyfret patterns. It is covered inside and out with a pale white glaze continuing over the narrow foot to cover the base. 5 1/8 in. (13.2 cm.), diam., box

Notes: In Chinese tradition, tortoise and crane are symbols of longevity. The presence of both animals on the present dish could be seen as a wish for longevity and such pieces are very suitable for a birthday celebration. It seems that this rare design only appears on two other Ding dishes, both with moulded chrysanthemum petals in the well and leaf-shaped rim: one in the collection of the Bureau of Cultural Relics of Quyang city, illustrated in Zhongguo taoci quanji(Compendium of Chinese Ceramics), Tokyo, 1981, vol. 9, no. 107; and the other was sold at Christie's New York, 24 March 2004, lot 150 (fig. 1).

A rare moulded Ding 'tortoise and crane' dish, Jin dynasty (1115-1234), sold at Christie’s New York, 24 March 2004, lot 150

fig. 1. A rare moulded Ding 'tortoise and crane' dish, Jin dynasty (1115-1234), sold at Christie’s New York, 24 March 2004, lot 150.

Christie's. CLASSICAL CHINESE ART FROM THE SUI TO THE SONG DYNASTIES, 1 June 2016, Convention Hall