A massive painted grey pottery figure of a horse, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 833. A massive painted grey pottery figure of a horse, Tang dynasty (618-907)33 in. (83.8 cm.) highEstimate 60,000 - USD 80,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.

The horse is shown standing foursquare on a rectangular base with the head turned slightly to the left. The head is sensitively modeled with alert expression and the ears pricked. There are extensive traces of red pigment and white slip on the unsaddled body

Property from the Collection of Frederick A. and Sharon L. Klingenstein. 

ProvenanceEskenazi Ltd., London, 1989

NoteHorses in China during the Tang dynasty were admired for their speed and intelligence, and not only were they important in the realms of travel and war, they also played a significant role in the leisurely activities of the nobility. The Tang nobilities were legendary for their love of horses, so much so that the court passed a law in 667 that allowed only members of the elite to ride. Noble families might own literally thousands of horses, with different types for use in the cavalry, for hunting and polo. The present figure is exceptional for its massive size, powerful modeling and sensitively rendered head with distinctive alert expression. Painted pottery horses of this large size appear most often without trappings, most likely so that they could be outfitted with materials that have long since perished. For another example of this type, see the large pottery horse lacking trappings sold in these rooms, 24 March 2004, lot 129.

A sancai-glazed pottery tripod jar and a cover, Tang dynasty (618-907)

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Lot 834. A sancai-glazed pottery tripod jar and a cover, Tang dynasty (618-907)6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm.) highEstimate 30,000 - USD 50,000. Price realised USD 56,250. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.  

The jar of globular form, is covered with a rich, lustrous sancai glaze which stops short of the rounded base, and is supported on three lion-form feet. The flat cover has a bud-form finial.  

Property from the Collection of Frederick A. and Sharon L. Klingenstein. 

Provenance: The Hardy Collection of Early Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art from the Sze Yuan Tang; Christie's New York, 21 September 1995, lot 92.
Eskenazi Ltd., London, 1995.

The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no. 566a9 is consistent with the dating of this lot.

A large painted pottery figure of a court lady, Tang dynasty (618-907)

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Lot 835. A large painted pottery figure of a court lady, Tang dynasty (618-907)25 1/8 in. (63.8 cm.) highEstimate 60,000 - USD 80,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.   

The court lady is shown standing with her body swayed to one side and her head turned inquisitively to the other side. Her hands which are held in front of her chest are concealed within the voluminous sleeves of her robe which has black flowers decorating the skirt. Her hair is dressed in an elaborate coiffure.  

Property from the Collection of Frederick A. and Sharon L. Klingenstein.  

Provenance: Eskenazi Ltd., London, 1996.

Note: This elegant figure, beautifully modeled with carefully incised lines that suggest the folds of the garment, is a particularly large and charming example of the court ladies that became fashionable in the second half of the Tang dynasty. The reign of Emperor Ming Huang seems to have heralded the growth in popularity of a more generous female form and the adoption of less structured, flowing robes. This change in style has traditionally been attributed to the influence of the emperor's adored concubine Yang Guifei, who was reported to have had a rather voluptuous figure. Yang Guifei was held partly responsible for the circumstances that led to the An Lushan rebellion of AD 756, and she was executed by the accompanying troops as she and the Emperor fled to Sichuan. The Emperor's grief at her loss was immortalized in one of China's best- known literary works, The Song of Eternal Regret. However, excavated figures suggest that this fashion was already coming to prominence by the time that Yang Guifei won the emperor's admiration.

In addition to their robes, the hairstyles of these figures also differ from those of their slender predecessors. While the latter tended to have their hair drawn back from the face and then arranged in one or two elaborate knots, the plumper ladies, like the current figure, tend to have softer hair styles. The hair is much fuller, framing the upper part of the face and is tied in a looser arrangement on top.
The figures of this type usually hold their hands in front of them, in order to provide a more graceful arrangement of their sleeves. Some have their hands completely hidden as can be seen in three of the figures from the Schloss Collection. See J. Baker, Seeking Immortality - Chinese Tomb Sculpture from the Schloss Collection, Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, Santa Ana, 1996, p. 34, no. 17. Others among these figures hold a pet animal or bird, as in the case of the figure with a small pug dog in the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, illustrated by G. Hasebe and M. Sato, Sekai toji zenshu, 11 Tang, Tokyo, 1976, no. 29, or the figure gently cradling a songbird in her hand, Seeking Immortality, op. cit., p. 34, no. 17, second from the right. A very few of the figures hold a small child, as in the case of a mother and child group excavated from a tomb dated to AD 744 near Xi'an. See E. Schloss, Ancient Chinese Ceramic Sculpture from Han through T'ang, vol. 1, Stamford, 1977, p. 42, fig. 7. The current figure adopts a rather delicate pose, with her small hands slightly raised and the ends of her sleeves allowed to fall from the ends of her fingers. 

The result of Oxford thermoluminescence test no. 766q98 is consistent with the dating of this lot.

A rare sancai-glazed bottle vase, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 836. A rare sancai-glazed bottle vase, Tang dynasty (618-907)9 ¾ in. (24.8 cm.) highEstimate 80,000 - USD 120,000. Price realised USD 225,000.  © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.  

The vase raised on a flared, pedestal foot has an ovoid body decorated with floralappliqués, and a slender trumpet neck, and is covered overall with a finely splashed glaze of green, ochre and cream color.   

Property from the Collection of Frederick A. and Sharon L. Klingenstein. 

ProvenanceAcquired in Japan, 1990.
Eskenazi Ltd., London, 1993

Note: The shape of this elegant vase was inspired by metal prototypes that were introduced from Central Asia. A very similar vase, partly glazed in pale green, in the Nezu Institute of Fine Arts, is illustrated in Tang Pottery and Porcelain, Tokyo, 1988, p. 45, no. 40. A slightly larger sancai-glazed vase with more compressed body, its neck incised with three bow-string bands, in the Tokyo National Museum, is illustrated by M. Sato et. al.Ceramic Art of The World: Sui and T'ang Dynasties, vol. 11, Tokyo, 1976, p. 59, no. 43. See, also, two similar vases with horizontal ribs encircling the neck, one illustrated in The Arts of The T'ang Dynasty: A Loan Exhibition organized by the Los Angeles County Museum From Collections in America, Los Angeles, 1957, p. 82, no. 194; the other illustrated in Zhongguo taoci daxi, Han Tang taoci daquan (Chinese Ceramics Series, Han and Tang Ceramics), Taipei, 1987-89, p. 451.

A very rare sancai-glazed pottery goose-form vessel, Tang dynasty (618-907)

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A very rare sancai-glazed pottery goose-form vessel, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 837. A very rare sancai-glazed pottery goose-form vessel, Tang dynasty (618-907)13 ¾ in. (35 cm.) longEstimate 120,000 - USD 180,000. Price realised USD 175,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.   

The vessel is very finely modeled as a plump goose, the body covered in a rich amber glaze, the wings and tail feathers covered in a combination of green, amber and cream glazes, the head with a green crest and amber beak, the back with a wide circular aperture, and the body and neck with realistically-modeled feathers.    

Property from the Collection of Frederick A. and Sharon L. Klingenstein.  

ProvenanceEskenazi Ltd., London, 1997.

Literature: Eskenazi Ltd., Ceramic sculpture from Han and Tang China, New York, 1997, p. 42, no. 13.

Exhibited: New York, Eskenazi Ltd., Ceramic sculpture from Han and Tang China, 19 to 26 March 1997. 

Note: A very similar sancai-glazed goose-form vessel, but with less detail on the neck, in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, is illustrated in R. L. d’Argence, Chinese Ceramics in the Avery Brundage Collection, San Francisco, 1967, pl. XXVb and on the front cover. Another similar goose-form vessel, partially glazed in blue, in the Tokyo National Museum is illustrated in Special Exhibition Chinese Ceramics, Tokyo, 1994, p. 89, fig. 126. See, also, a smaller example found in Xin’an county, Henan province, and now in the Henan Provincial Museum, illustrated by W. Watson, Tang and Liao Ceramics, London, 1984, p. 44, fig. 23.

A sancai-glazed pottery tripod jar, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 838. sancai-glazed pottery tripod jarTang dynasty (618-907)7 1/8 in. (18 cm.) diamEstimate 6,000 - USD 8,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.   

The globular body is supported on three claw feet and is covered in a splashed-glaze of amber, green and cream color, which stops short of the unglazed base.    

Property from the Collection of Frederick A. and Sharon L. Klingenstein.  

Provenance: In the current collection, New York, prior to 1994.

A pair of large sancai-glazed pottery guardian figures, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 839. A pair of large sancai-glazed pottery guardian figures, Tang dynasty (618-907)31 ½ and 31 in. (80 and 79 cm.) highEstimate 30,000 - USD 50,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.   

Each figure is shown standing on a recumbent bull supported on a pierced rockwork base, with one hand on the hip and the other hand clenched to hold a spear, now missing. Each is artfully decorated in glazes of cream, green and amber color, while the head is left unglazed, and the face with severe expression has painted details.   

Property from the Collection of Frederick A. and Sharon L. Klingenstein.   

Provenance: In the current collection, New York, prior to 1994. 

An important massive sancai-glazed pottery figure of a Fereghan horse, Tang dynasty (618-907)

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Lot 840. An important massive sancai-glazed pottery figure of a Fereghan horse, Tang dynasty (618-907)30 ¼ in. (76.8 cm.) highEstimate 400,000 - USD 600,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.  

The superbly modeled horse is shown standing foursquare on a rectangular base, its head turned slightly to one side, and its mouth slightly open. The body is covered with a rich amber glaze, the wavy mane and forelock picked out in cream, and the saddle is splash-glazed on top of the cream saddle blanked edged in leaf green. The elaborate trappings are hung with 'apricot leaf' medallions on the rump, and cream-colored tassels on the chest

Property from the Collection of Frederick A. and Sharon L. Klingenstein. 

Provenance: Mr. C. Winslow-Taylor Collection, by 1947. 
The property of a lady; Sotheby's London, 11 December 1984, lot 113. 
A & J Speelman Ltd., London, 1986.

LiteratureThe Oriental Ceramic Society, 'Catalogue of The Exhibition of Chinese Ceramic Figures', Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, London, vol. 22, 1946-47, no. 61.
Margaret Medley, T'ang Pottery & Porcelain, London, 1981, p. 41, pl. 30. (detail)

ExhibitedLondon, The Oriental Ceramic Society, The Exhibition of Chinese Ceramic Figures, 8 April-21 June 1947.
On loan: London, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Note: This impressively large and powerfully modelled horse, with its well-preserved sancai glaze, captures the spirit and power of this celebrated animal and reveals the technical accomplishment and stylistic maturity of Chinese ceramic sculpture at the peak of the Tang dynasty. The most magnificent horses, immortalized in Chinese literature and the visual arts, were the Ferghana horses introduced into central China from the West during the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). These horses were known for their speed, power and stamina, and were sometimes referred to as ‘thousand li horses’, after the belief that they were able to cover a thousand li in a single day.

Large sancai-glazed pottery horses featuring similar elaborate trappings, in particular this combination of cream-colored tassels on the chest and foliate medallions on the rump, include the figure in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, illustrated by Y. Mino and J. Robinson in Beauty and Tranquility: The Eli Lilly Collection of Chinese Art, Indianapolis, 1983, p.174-75, pl. 61 (26 in. high); the figure illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, Chinese Art from The Collection of James W. and Marilynn Alsdof, The Arts Club of Chicago, 21 September – 13 November 1970, c21 (22 ½ in. high); and the figure illustrated by E. Schloss in Ancient Chinese Ceramic Sculpture, Stamford, Connecticut, 1977, vol. II, col. pl. V (26 ½ in. high). All of these figures feature amber or brown-glazed bodies and cream-glazed muzzles, manes and forelocks. Like the current figure, the Lilly and Alsdorf horses each have a saddle covered with a cloth pulled into pleats on either side, which is set on a blanket draped over the horse’s back. The horse illustrated by Schloss has green-glazed hooves like the present figure, but is draped over its back with a green-glazed blanket richly textured to simulate fur.

The foliate plaques hung from the straps on the rump are of a type that has been labeled 'hazel-leaf' or 'apricot-leaf'. For actual examples of similar gilt-bronze ornaments from the tomb of Princess Yongtai, buried in AD 706, see Y. Mino and J. Robinson, op. cit., p. 174, pl. 61, fig. E.

A splash-decorated brown-glazed ewer, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 1001. A splash-decorated brown-glazed ewer, Tang dynasty (618-907); 31 ½ and 31 in. (80 and 79 cm.) highEstimate 12,000 - USD 18,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.  

The tapering body is set on the shoulder with two loop handles applied at the base of the neck between the short conical spout and the double strap handle. The ewer is covered with a dark brown glaze highlighted by splashes of milky, pale blue and buff tone on the shoulder and on the interior of the flaring mouth

 Property from a princely collection.  

Provenance: Dr. Johan Carl Kempe (1884-1967) Collection, Sweden. 
Early Chinese White, Green and Black Wares; Sotheby's London, 14 May 2008, lot 208.

Literature: E. Engel, Chinese Ceramic Treasures: a selection from Ulricehamn East Asian Museum, including The Carl Kempe Collection, vol. 1, Ulricehamn, 2002, pl. 217.

Exhibited: Ulricehamn, Ulricehamn East Asian Museum, Chinese Ceramic Treasures: a selection from Ulricehamn East Asian Museum, including The Carl Kempe Collection, 2002.

Note: The bluish or yellowish-white splashes that decorate dark brown-glazed wares of this type are applied after the initial glazing, often poured onto the piece as it is held in a sideways or inverted position so that the splashes trail decoratively down the body. Compare the similar ewer dated to the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907) in the Collection of Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 31 - Porcelain of the Jin and Tang Dynasties, Hong Kong, 1996, p. 211, no. 196.

A large sancai-glazed pottery figure of an official, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 1068. A large sancai-glazed pottery figure of an official, Tang dynasty (618-907); 36 ½ in. (92.7 cm) high. Estimate 10,000 - USD 15,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.   

The tall dignitary is shown standing on a pierced rock base with the hands clasped in front of his chest and pierced to receive a tablet of rank, wearing a bright green-glazed tunic with wide sleeves and panels hung from straps in front and back splash-glazed in brown, cream and green, over long robes covered with a straw-colored glaze falling to the bright green up-turned toe of the shoes with extensive traces of red and black pigment.  

The Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Family Collection.   

ProvenanceWarren E. Cox Associates, Inc., New York, 22 May 1968.
Nathan Cummings (1896-1985) Collection, New York.
Acquired by Beatrice C. Mayer on 1 August 1985.

A rare blue and sancai-glazed pottery figure of an equestrian, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 1069. A rare blue and sancai-glazed pottery figure of an equestrian, Tang dynasty (618-907); 17 ½ in. (44.4 cm.) high. Estimate 15,000 - USD 25,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.    

The rider with foreign features is shown with hands raised as if to hold the reins and dressed in a blue tunic, with amber-glazed lapels and boots. The chestnut-glazed horse stands foursquare on a rectangular base with its head turned slightly to the left.   

The Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Family Collection.    

ProvenanceNagatani, Chicago, 25 July 1967.

The result of Oxford thermoluminescence test no.366e45 is consistent with the dating of this lot.

A sancai-glazed pottery jar and a cover, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 1071. A sancai-glazed pottery jar and a cover, Tang dynasty (618-907); 11 ½ in. (29.2 cm.) highEstimate 4,000 - USD 6,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.  

The jar of ovoid form is splash-glazed on the rounded shoulder in green, ochre and cream glazes on a white slip that falls irregularly below the shoulder, the lower body and flat base exposing the pale pinkish-buff ware. The similarly glazed cover has a bud finial. similarly glazed. 

The Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Family Collection. 

Provenance: Nagatani, Chicago, 1963

Note: For a very similar sancai-glazed jar and cover, see Eskenazi, Early Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 1974, no. 13; see, also F. Koyma, Heibonsha toki-zenshu, 1957, pl. 26 for a similar jar without a cover.

A large sancai-glazed pottery figure of an official, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 1072. A large sancai-glazed pottery figure of an official, Tang dynasty (618-907); 37 ½ in. (95.3 cm.) highEstimate 6,000 - USD 8,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019. 

The tall dignitary shown standing on a rock base and wears a short amber tunic with green, cross-over lapels and deep sleeves with splash-glazed borders, the hands are hidden with a muff, and he also wears a court hat and shoes with up-turned toes..  

The Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Family Collection 

ProvenanceWarren E. Cox Associates, Inc., New York, , 22 May 1968.
Nathan Cummings (1896-1985) Collection, New York.
Acquired by Beatrice C. Mayer on 1 August 1985.

A large chestnut-glazed pottery figure of a horse, Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 1074. A large chestnut-glazed pottery figure of a horse, Tang dynasty (618-907); 19 ½ in. (49.5 cm.) highEstimate 8,000 - USD 12,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.

The horse is finely modeled standing foursquare on a rectangular base, and is covered predominantly in a glaze of chestnut-brown color. The mane falls to one side of the neck and is covered in a cream-colored glaze, and the saddle is unglazed.  

The Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Family Collection. 

Provenance: Spink & Son Ltd., London, 5 December 1967.

A rare large sancai-glazed pottery figure of a horse , Tang dynasty (618-907)

Lot 1075. A rare large sancai-glazed pottery figure of a horse, Tang dynasty (618-907); 30 ¾ in. (78.2 cm.) highEstimate 30,000 - USD 50,000. Price realised USD 131,250. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019. 

The horse is shown standing foursquare on a rectangular base, with the head turned slightly to the left, and the ears pricked, the long segmented mane swept onto one side of the neck, the cream-glazed trappings hung with large cream tassels pendent from floriform plaques, and the saddle draped with a green-glazed saddle cloth that simulates fur. The body is covered in a rich brown glaze

The Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Family Collection.  

Provenance: Frank Caro, New York, 12 November 1958.

Note: This magnificent horse is exceptional for its large size, realistically-modelled mane, finely-textured saddle imitating fur, and very rare matte-brown coloring.

Tang pottery horses are most often shown with amber or straw-glazed bodies, and sometimes with a combination of the two, but very rarely with a matte-brown glaze, such as the present figure. The mottled dark brown color of the glaze enhances the naturalism of the figure, while the matte surface provides an interesting contrast to the lustrous straw-glazed mane, hooves and tassels, and greenglazed saddle.

Compare the horse covered in matte-brown glaze, with similar foliate trappings, but with a sancaiglazed rather than green-glazed saddle, and another horse covered in brown glaze, but with an ochrecolored saddle, both from the Tang tomb of Prince Jiemin-Li Chongjun in Fuping county, 1995, illustrated in National Treasure – Collection of Rare Cultural Relics of Shaanxi Province, Xi’an, 1998, pp. 183-84. See also, a horse covered in a black glaze, but without foliate trappings, in the Luoyang Museum, illustrated in Da Sancai, Sancai from Luoyang Museum and the Liaoning Provincial Museum, 1989, p. 31, no. 11. The horse depicted here is the revered ‘blood-sweating’ horse, which was introduced into China from the west during the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). These Ferghana horses were known for their speed, power and stamina, qualities which are brought out by the masterful hand of the artist. They were thought to have descended from celestial horses, and were symbols of great status for those who owned them.

A large sancai-glazed pottery figure of a striding Bactrian camel, Tang dynasty (618-907)

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Lot 1076. A large sancai-glazed pottery figure of a striding Bactrian camel, Tang dynasty (618-907); 32 in. (81.3 cm.) highEstimate 60,000 - USD 80,000. Price realised USD 200,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019. 

The camel is naturalistically modeled striding forward, with the neck arched strongly upwards and the mouth agape revealing long pointed teeth and the tongue, and is covered in an amber glaze with cream splashes on the neck, head and front legs. The saddle cloth is splashed with green, ochre and cream glazes, and the protruding twin humps are highlighted in a cream glaze  

The Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Family Collection.  

Provenance: Winston Guest (1906-1982) Collection, New York.
Ralph M. Chait Galleries, New York, 19 March 1962.

Note: The Bactrian camel was not indigenous to China. Ezekiel Schloss, in Ancient Chinese Ceramic Sculpture, Connecticut, 1977, vol. I, pl. 220, discusses the importation of tens of thousands of camels from the states of the Tarim Basin, Eastern Turkestan, and Mongolia. The Tang state even created a special office to supervise the imperial camel herds which carried out various state assignments, including military courier service for the northern frontier. The camel was also used by the court and the merchants for local transportation and, of course, were the ‘ships of the desert’ linking China to the oasis cities of central Asia, Samarkand, Persia and Syria.

A similar figure of a Bactrian camel with a fringed and splash-glazed blanket, and cream glaze on the heavy areas of hair in contrast to the amber body, is illustrated by Mizuno in Toujitaikei, vol. 35, Tousansai (Tang sancai), Heibonsha series, 1977, pl. 100. Another large braying figure of a camel, but with monster-mask packs, is illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World’s Great Collections, vol. 5: The British Museum, London, Tokyo, 1981, pl. 7. See, also, the similar figure sold at Christie’s New York, 17 March 2017, lot 1136; another one sold at Christie’s Paris, 21-22 June 2016, lot 366; and the very similar massive figure sold at Christie’s Paris, 15 June 2005, lot 130. 

A small white-glazed cup stand, Late Tang-Five Dynasties period, 9th-10th century

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Lot 1002. A small white-glazed cup stand, Late Tang-Five Dynasties period, 9th-10th century; 3 5/8 in. (9.4 cm.) diamEstimate 1,000 - USD 1,500. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019. 

The cup stand is potted with a rounded concave center rising to a dish-form flange raised on a ring foot. It is covered overall with a white glaze with pale greenish tinge. 

Provenance: Dr. Johan Carl Kempe (1884-1967) Collection, Sweden. 
Early Chinese White, Green and Black Wares; Sotheby's London, 14 May 2008, lot 223. 

LiteratureHsing-Yao and Ting-Yao, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, No. 25, 1953, Stockholm, 1953, pl. 47, fig. 42.
The Oriental Ceramic Society, The Arts of the T'ang Dynasty, London, 1955, cat. no. 195.
B. Gyllensvärd, Chinese Ceramics in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1964, pl. 315. 

ExhibitedLondon, The Oriental Ceramic Society, The Arts of the T'ang Dynasty, 25 February-30 March 1955.

A Ding foliate-rimmed cup stand, Late Tang-Five Dynasties period, 9th-10th century

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Lot 1016. A Ding foliate-rimmed cup stand, Late Tang-Five Dynasties period, 9th-10th century; 5 in. (12.7 cm.) diamEstimate 4,000 - USD 6,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.  

The stand has flared sides which rise to a foliate rim pinched inwards to create five lobes and is covered overall with a white glaze of bluish-white tone. 

Property from the Collection of Dr. Maurice Berger. 

ProvenanceMyron and Pauline Falk Collection, New York, no. 170.
The Falk Collection II Chinese and Japanese Works of Art, Christie's New York, 15 October 2001, lot 428 (part).  

LiteratureL. B. Barnes, High Tea: Glorious Manifestations-East and West, West Palm Beach, Florida, 2014, p. 129, no. C2.  

ExhibitedWest Palm Beach, Florida, Norton Museum of Art, Masterpiece of the Month, 4 September-26 October 2014.
West Palm Beach, Florida, Norton Museum of Art, High Tea: Glorious Manifestations- East and West, 19 February-24 May 2015.

Note: A white-glazed cup stand of very similar form from Xuezhuang, Anyang county, Henan province and now in the collection of Henan institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, is illustrated by B. Zhang, Complete Collection of Ceramic Art Unearthed in China - 12 - Henan, Beijing, 2008, no. 66. 

Compare, also, the slightly smaller cup stand, dated Tang to Five Dynasties, 9th-10th century, included in the Bluett and Sons Ltd. exhibition, The Postan Collection of Early Chinese Ceramics, 1972, no. 4; and another similar cup stand dated to Tang dynasty from the Carl Kempe Collection illustrated by B. Gyllensvärd, Chinese ceramics in the Carl Kempe collection, Stockholm, 1965, no. 337, and later sold at Sotheby’s London, 14 May 2008, lot 224. Another similar cup stand dated Tang-Five Dynasties, was included in the Nezu Institute of Fine Arts exhibition, Toji hakuji, seiji, sancai (Tang pottery and porcelain), Tokyo, 1988, no. 24. 

A white-glazed foliate cup stand of the same form, but lacking raised lines, is illustrated by M. Sato and G. Hasebe (eds.), Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 11, Sui Tang, Tokyo, 1976, p. 167, no. 165, where it is dated to the 10th century. In the same volume, the authors illustrate p. 181, fig. 5., a Tang dynasty silver-gilt cup stand with the same folded-in foliations at the rim, which was found outside the Heping gate at Xi'an.

A rare Xing zhadou , Late Tang-Five Dynasties period, 10th century

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Lot 1017. A rare Xing zhadou , Late Tang-Five Dynasties period, 10th century; 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm.) diamEstimate 8,000 - USD 12,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2019.  

The zhadou has a compressed globular body incised around the shoulders with three concentric circles, a waisted neck surmounted by a wide flared mouth, and is covered overall in a creamy-white glaze of ivory tone.  

Property from the Collection of Dr. Maurice Berger.  

ProvenanceAlice Boney (1901-1988) Collection, New York (according to label).
Ji Zhen Zhai Collection, 1988..  

LiteratureJ.P. Fang et al., J. M. L. Barrett ed., Treasures of the Chinese Scholar, Philadelphia, 1997, p. 151, fig. 159.
L. B. Barnes, High Tea: Glorious Manifestations-East and West, West Palm Beach, Florida, 2014, p. 130, no. C5.  

ExhibitedPhiladelphia, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Treasures of the Chinese
Scholar, 14 March 1998-3 January 1999; Knoxville, Tennessee, McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, 3 May-6 May 2001; Omaha, Nebraska, Joslyn Art Museum, 2 June-26 August 2001; Naples, Florida, Naples Museum of Art, February-April 2002.
West Palm Beach, Florida, Norton Museum of Art, Masterpiece of the Month, 4 September-26 October 2014.
West Palm Beach, Florida, Norton Museum of Art, High Tea: Glorious Manifestations-East and West, 19 February-24 May 2015, no. C5

Note: The unusual shape of this vessel, with its broad sloping mouth rim, was inspired by metalwork prototypes. See, for example, the two Tang dynasty silver zhadou illustrated in Tangdai Jinyin Qi, Beijing, 1985, nos. 255 and 278, the first excavated at Xi'an, and the second with slightly concave mouth rim found in a tomb in Linan Xian Shiu Qiushi, Zhejiang province. It has been suggested that vessels of this shape may have functioned as waste receptacles for wine dregs or tea leaves.

Xing wares from Hebei province were the best quality white-glazed ceramic of the Tang dynasty. The kilns are best known for their tea bowls, dishes and bowl stands, and vessels like the present zhadou are very rare. A similar zhadou with a slightly smaller flared mouth, more compressed body and covered with a white-crackle glaze, dated to Tang dynasty in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in Porcelain of the Jin and Tang Dynasties, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1996, no. 144. See, also, another white glazed zhadou with more globular body, illustrated ibid., no. 143. A zhadou of similar shape but covered with a celadon glaze was included in the Nezu Institute of Fine Arts exhibition, Toji hakuji, seiji, sancai (Tang pottery and porcelain), Tokyo, 1988, no. 49

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 13 September 2019