Lot 2902. A fine rare Ding turtle-form tea grinder, Early Northern Song dynasty, 10th-11th century; 3 in. (9.5 cm.) long. Estimate HKD 400,000 - HKD 600,000 (USD 51,221 - USD 76,831). © Christie's Image Ltd 2019
The vessel is naturalistically modelled as a turtle with a small curled tail and a short protruding head, the back incised with a honeycomb pattern, glazed in a semi-translucent greenish-white glaze stopping neatly in a circle above the base, revealing the fine, beige biscuit body, box.
Provenance: Sold at Christie’s London, 9 November 2010, lot 117.
Note: A closely related Ding turtle-form vessel of similar glaze, body and size was discovered in the underground chamber of the Jingzhi Temple Pagoda in Dingzhou, constructed in 977 during the early years of the Northern Song dynasty. The vessel is now in the collection of the Dingzhou Museum in Hebei (fig. 1). Sherds of similar Ding turtle vessels, also dating to the early Northern Song period, were excavated from the Ding kiln site in Jianciling, Quyang, exhibited at The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, Ding Ware: The World of White Elegance. Recent Archaeological Findings, Osaka, 2013, nos. 16-18.
fig. 1 Collection of Dingzhou Museum.
Christie's. Leisurely Delights, Hong Kong, 29 May 2019