A rare 'Jizhou' 'tortoiseshell'-glazed meiping, Song Dynasty


Lot 262. A rare 'Jizhou' 'tortoiseshell'-glazed meiping, Song Dynasty, Height 8 1/8  in., 20.7 cm. Estimate 120,000 — 150,000 USD. Unsold. Photo: Sotheby's.

the slender ovoid body rising from a recessed base with a slanting foot ring, surmounted by a short neck and everted lipped rim, covered overall with a dark chocolate-brown glaze liberally applied with sandy-brown splashes in imitation of tortoiseshell, the base applied with a pale brown slip, Japanese wood box (3) 

NoteSituated in central Jiangxi province, the Jizhou kilns are renowned for having developed highly creative and technically challenging decorative techniques, including the ‘tortoiseshell’ glaze. Known in Chinese as daimei wen and daipi wen, which refer to its resemblance to the shell of a turtle, this attractive mottled glaze is believed to have been achieved through splashes of wood ash mixed with white slip, applied on the body over the dark brown glaze (see the catalogue to the exhibition Hare’s Fur, Tortoiseshell and Partridge Feathers. Chinese Brown and Black-Glazed Ceramics, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 1995, p. 36).

Compare a meiping of this type, from the collection of Mr and Mrs Janos Szekeres, first sold in our New York rooms, 7th December 1983, lot 210, and subsequently included in op. cit., cat. no. 91; a slightly larger vase, but potted with a straight rim, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures in the Palace Museum. Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 216; another in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, included in the exhibition Treasures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, China House Gallery, New York, 1979, cat. no. 36; and a slightly smaller vase, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 3rd December 2015, lot 269.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 16 mars 2016