18. A russet-splashed black-glazed jar and cover, Northern Song dynasty (960-1127); 15.5 cm, 6 1/4 in. Estimate £60,000 - £80,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.
the ovoid body rising from a short foot to a slightly tapered neck, flanked by a pair of lug handles, covered overall in a lustrous black glaze stopping irregularly around the base, accentuated with russet splashes, the domed cover with a flat rim surmounted by a button finial, similarly decorated.
Property from the Rui Xiu Lou Collection.
Provenance: The private collection of a Japanese physician (b. 1925).
Collection of Umezawa Hikotaro, Tokyo.
Kochukyo, Tokyo, circa 1975.
Christie's Hong Kong, 27th November 2013, lot 3285.
Note: Notable for its abstract splash design over a lustrous black glaze, jars of this type, with a sturdy ovoid body and broad straight neck enlivened by two tubular handles, were popular in the Song dynasty and made at various kilns in northern China. Black-glazed jars decorated with irregular russet splashes are discussed by Robert D. Mowry in the catalogue to the exhibition Hare’s Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 1995, p. 146, where he notes that vessels of this type, left unglazed above the foot, have been recovered at the Cicun kilns, near Zibo in Shandong province, while those with a thin layer of brown glaze covering the lowest part, are more commonly associated with kilns in Henan and Hebei province.
A splashed jar of similar form but of slightly smaller size in the Meiyintang collection, is published in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994, vol. I, pl. 463; another was included in the exhibition Tausend Jahre Chinesische Keramik aus Privatbesitz, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, 1974, cat. no. 55; and a third is published in Fujiō Kōyama, Tōji taikei: Temmoku [Outlines of ceramics: Temmoku], vol. 38, Tokyo, 1974, pl. 64. A further jar of this type but of slightly smaller size, from the Malcolm collection, was sold in these rooms, 29th March 1977, lot 161; and from the collection of Philip Kappel was sold in our New York rooms, 4th June 1982, lot 155.
Traditionally referred to as guan, shuang’er guan (“double-eared jar”) or gualeng guan (“melon jar”), this form is known in a variety of sizes, with or without russet splashes.