Lot 82. A rare Yueyao celadon ewer and cover, Five dynasties-Song dynasty (907-1127). 16.5 cm, 6 1/2 in. Estimate 50,000 — 70,000 GBP. Lots sold 162,500 GBP. Courtesy Sotheby's.
the rounded lobed sides rising from a short slightly spreading foot to a straight neck with an applied ear-shaped strap handle, opposite an elegant outward turned spout, the body delicately incised to each side with a design of two cranes below trailing clouds, with a band of scrolling foliage at the shoulder, the domed cover incised with ruyi, below a bud-shape finial. Quantity: 2.
Provenance: Hirano Kotoken, Tokyo, 1990 (by repute).
Note: This charming piece is striking for its elegant lobed form and freely carved motif of cranes and clouds. It belongs to a group of finely potted vessels covered in a glossy olive-green glaze, that were made in the region formerly known as Yuzhou in Zhejiang province, during the Five Dynasties period. Yue wares of this type have been unearthed in temples and at royal tombs together with other treasured objects in silver, precious stone and glass, denoting their importance.
A ewer and cover of this lobed form but incised with figures, unearthed in the west of Beijing, is illustrated in Zhongguo taoci quanji. Tang Wudai [The complete works of Chinese ceramics. Tang and Five dynasties], vol. 6, 2000 pl. 153, together with two further examples, the first incised with floral medallions, and the second undecorated and lacking the cover, pls 147 and 164 respectively. See also another globular ewer incised with floral medallions included in the exhibition Early Chinese Ceramics. An American Private Collection, J.J. Lally & Co. Oriental Art, New York, 2005, cat. no. 47.
Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, London, 08 Nov 2017