Lot 100. A 'sancai'-glazed pottery inkstone and washer, Liao dynasty (907-1125). Length of inkstone 7 in., 17.8 cm; Length of washer 5 1/2 in., 14 cm. Estimate 9,000 — 12,000 USD. Lot sold 27,500 USD. © Sotheby's
the inkstone of rectangular form, the long sides with striding dragons, the back with an open window flanked by trellis and the front molded as the face of an open-mouthed demon, the top with an unglazed grinding area declining to a shallow well incised with waves, fish and leaves, with applied clouds and birds along the rim; the washer of oval quadrilobe form, the shallow well with raised sides, the exterior applied with shaped cartouches flanked by florets between two narrow foliate bands, glazed in green and yellow (2).
Provenance: Collection of Gale R. Blosser (1913-2009), acquired at Kalk Bay Antiques, Cape Town, 1970s.
Note: An example of a similarly decorated inkstone of circular form is illustrated in Qidan Dynasty: Treasures of the Liao Dynasty from Inner Mongolia, National Museum of Chinese History, Beijing, 2002, p.305. A washer of the same form and mold but glazed in amber and part of a fitted stack of five is illustrated ibid p.279.
Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. New York, 19 march 2013