A_Jizhou__tortoise_shell__glazed_bowl__Southern_Song_dynasty__1127_1279

Lot 1142. A Jizhou 'tortoise-shell' glazed bowl, Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279), 5 in. (12.7 cm.) diam. Estimate USD 6,000 - USD 8,000Price realised USD 10,625. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The bowl has flared sides that round upwards just below the finger-grooved rim, and is covered inside and out with a dark brown glaze splashed in buff with bluish-white suffusions falling to just above the foot.

ProvenanceSotheby's Hong Kong, 5 November 1996, lot 735.
James E. Breece III Collection. 
Christie's New York, 18 September 2003, lot 253.
Peter Scheinman (1932-2017) Collection, New York.

NoteThe remarkable glaze seen on this bowl was an innovation of the pioneering potters at the Jizhou kilns in Jiangxi province. Known as 'tortoise shell' glaze, its name was derived supposedly from its similarity to the shell of a warm-water sea turtle known as the hawksbill. Compare two similar 'tortoise shell'-glazed conical bowls, the first from the Charles B. Hoyt Collection, and now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 10, Tokyo, 1980, no. 172; the second illustrated in Song Ceramics from the Kwan Collection, Hong Kong, 1994, no. 170.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 14 - 15 September 2017, New York