Lot 390. An inscribed moulded white-glazed square dish, Song dynasty (960-1279); 9.6 cm, 3 3/4 in. Estimate 100,000-150,000 HKD. Lot sold 200,000 HKD (22,476 EUR). © Sotheby's.
decorated on the interior with two butterflies, the everted sides with raised ridges, covered overall save for the flat base in an ivory-tinged glaze, the base incised with a guan (official) mark.
Note: Although square dishes of such form are known in various moulded designs, examples inscribed with the guan (official) mark directly pointing to an imperial patronage are extremely rare.
The present dish is inspired by Ding prototypes created in the late Tang to Five Dynasties period. A fragment of a closely related square dish excavated from the Ding kiln site, Quyang county, also decorated with a pair of confronted butterflies, is illustrated in Selection of Ding Ware: the Palace Museum’s Collection and Archaeological Excavation, Beijing, 2012, no. 20. The characteristic rendering of the moulded design with a white slip, is created in imitation of repoussé decoration found on contemporaneous metalwork of similar shape.
Similar examples of the same form inscribed with the guan mark rarely appear in the market, see a pair dated to Five dynasties-early Northern Song dynasty, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30th May 2018, lot 2925.
An important and very rare pair of ‘Guan’-inscribed Ding square dishes, Five Dynasties-Early Northern Song dynasty, 10th century; 3 3/4 in. (9.6 cm.) square. Sold for HKD 9,460,000 at Christie's Hong Kong, 30th May 2018, lot 2925. © Christie's Images Ltd 2018.
Sotheby's. Chinese Art, HongKong, 28 november 2018, 10:15 AM