A rare amber and green-glazed ewer, Liao dynasty (608-1210)


Lot 3118. A rare amber and green-glazed ewer, Liao dynasty (608-1210), 6 3/8 in. (16.3 cm.) high. Estimate HKD 220,000 - HKD 280,000. Price realised HKD 375,000 © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The ewer is finely potted with a compressed globular body sitting on a flat base with two large spur marks, set with an arching ropetwist handle terminating at each side with a monkey-like animal head, the top applied with a stylised flowerhead, the long tapering spout incised with concentric rings, opposite an integral strainer with six apertures. The ewer is largely covered with a rich amber glaze stopping irregularly above the base, the strainer highlighted with a bright green glaze. 

ProvenanceEskenazi Ltd., London, 2001
The Benjamin J. Fernandes Collection, no. 013

ExhibitedEskenazi Ltd., Chinese ceramic vessels 500-1000 AD, London, 8 to 30 November 2001, Catalogue, no. 13

NoteWhile the exact function of this ewer is currently unknown, the integral strainer suggests that it may have been used for the filtering of tea, wine or herbal drinks. There are very few known related examples. One slightly smaller example of similar form (14.4 cm. high) but glazed in blue on the body and amber on the handle, spout and strainer, is in the Art Institute of Chicago Collection (Gift of Russell Tyson, 1951.303), illustrated in H. Trubner, ‘Chinese Ceramics from the Prehistoric Period through Ch’ien Lung’, Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, 1952, no. 62.

Christie's. The Imperial Sale / Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 31 May 2017, Convention Hall