Lot 9. A fine and large 'Cizhou' painted and sgraffiato meiping, Northern Song dynasty (960-1127); 37.5 cm, 14 3/4 in. Estimate 30,000 — 40,000 GBP. Lot sold 35,000 GBP (45,224 USD). Courtesy Sotheby's
the slender tapering baluster body rising from a recessed base to broad shoulders ending in a narrow neck with tapering conical mouth, covered overall in an ivory-white slip, incised around the body with a band of interlinked cash motifs against a fish-roe ground above a band of incised upright trefoils, the shoulders boldly painted with large dark brown floral blooms under the glaze.
Property from the Rui Xiu Lou Collection.
Literature: Yutaka Mino, Freedom of Clay and Brush through Seven Centuries in Northern China: Tz'u-chou Type Wares, 960-1600 A.D., Indianapolis, 1981, fig. 61.
Note: The combination on this vase of freely painted floral blooms on the shoulders and the carefully incised “cash” pattern and stamped “fish-roe” is very unusual. While no other closely related example appears to have been published, a meiping that similarly combines painted blooms on the shoulders and above the foot, with incised characters on the body, in the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, was included in the Museum’s exhibition Charm of Black & White Ware; Transition of Cizhou Type Wares, Osaka, 2002, cat. no. 79; another in the Art Institute of Chicago, was included in the exhibition Freedom of Clay and Brush through Seven Centuries in Northern China: Tz’u-chou Type Wares, 960-1600 A.D., Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, 1980, cat. no. 72, illustrated together with a meiping in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, fig. 187; and a fourth vase from the collection of Mr Nishimura, was sold in our New York rooms, 19th March 2007, lot 126.
Compare also a meiping of similar slender form and carved with the “cash” pattern, but also with a classic scroll on the shoulders, from the collection of Samuel C. Davis, now in the St. Louis Art Museum, included ibid., cat. no. 27; another in the Tokyo National Museum, published in the Illustrated Catalogues of Tokyo National Museum. Chinese Ceramics I, Tokyo, 1988, pl. 556; and a fragment of a meiping recovered at the Dengfeng kilns in Henan province, illustrated in Li Jingzhou and Liu Aiye, Zhongguo Dengfeng yao [Dengfeng kilns of China], Beijing, 2011, p. 94 (lower right).
Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, London, 15 may 2019, 10:30 AM