A Longquan celadon 'Arrow' vase, Ming dynasty, 16th century

Lot 807. A Longquan celadon 'Arrow' vase, Ming dynasty, 16th century; 9¼ in. (23.5 cm.) high. Estimate USD 6,000 - USD 8,000Price realised USD 23,750. © Christie's Image Ltd 2014.

The vase has a globular body and tall long neck flanked by tubular handles, and is covered allover in a glaze of slightly olive, sea-green color which falls in a line above the unglazed base, Japanese wood box.

Provenance: A Japanese private collection, acquired in the 1990s.

NoteThe form of this vase is based on 'arrow' vases, or touhu, the primary accessory of a drinking game which involved throwing all of one's arrows into the mouth of the vessel. The loser was assessed a penalty drink for every errant throw. Too small to actually be used in the drinking game, the present vase was probably intended to hold flowers, perhaps on a home altar.

A Longquan celadon vase of this type, but of smaller size (16.8 cm.) and with a more slender neck, was included in the exhibition, The Scholar as Collector: Chinese Art at Yale, Yale University Art Gallery and China Institute in America, New York, 2004, p. 18, fig. 8.

Christie's. FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART, 18 – 19 September 2014, New York, Rockefeller Plaza