A rare painted 'jizhou' vase, meiping, Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279)

Lot 404. A rare painted 'jizhou' vase, meiping, Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279); 7 1/4 in., 18.5 cm. Estimate 70,000 - 90,000 USD. Lot sold 96,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.

finely potted of ovoid form, exquisitely painted in brown slip against a white ground with two large barbed foliate medallions enclosing a hexagonal diaper pattern on the interior, reserved on a dense ground of wave scrolls of various sizes, above a thin band of pendent lappets and keyfret around the foot, all set below a band of further scrolls around a collar at the shoulders and a keyfret band around the low neck with a rolled lip.

Note: 'Jizhou' vases painted with such dense decoration are extremely rare. Wares manufactured at the Jizhou kiln site at Yonghezhen near Ji'an in Jiangxi province, formerly Jizhou, are typically rough in their potting and are often sprinkled or splashed in an amber colour or use the sgraffito technique for decoration. Painted designs in brown on a beige-coloured biscuit and covered with a thin transparent gloss are unusual. The painting found on the present meiping is finely executed and the shape of the vessel is most pleasing to the eye. The attraction of this piece is undoubtedly derived from the fine shape and unusual ornamentation. 

No other similar meiping appears to be recorded, although a 'Jizhou' meiping painted with figures in four barbed panels among cloud-like scrollwork ground, excavated from a tomb site at Lanshi, Foshan in Guangdong province, and now in the Guangdong Provincial Museum, is illustrated in Zhongguo taoci quanji, vol. 8, Shanghai, 1999, pl. 220; and another meipingpainted with figures in panels is included in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 3 (II), London, 2006, pl. 1562.

Compare also a vase of compressed globular shape painted with two medallions enclosing waves on a similar scroll ground sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 20th May 1981, lot 658.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, including Property from the Collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 19-20 march 2007.