A celadon-glazed 'Longquan' Guan-type faceted hu vase, Song - Ming dynasty (960-1644)

Lot 777. A celadon-glazed 'Longquan' Guan-type faceted hu vase, Song-Ming dynasty (960-1644). Height 5 1/8  in., 13 cmEstimate USD 80,000 — 120,000© Sotheby's.

the slightly compressed pear-shaped body formed with eight facets all supported on a slightly splayed foot, set with two lug handles at the neck, covered overall in an even sage-green glaze suffused with a fine craquelure.

Note: Starting around 1200, the Longquan kilns began to imitate the Guan wares produced at Jiaotanxia. The imitations were produced in two types. For the first type, the Longquan potters mixed zijintu (purple-gold clay) into the body and induced a widely-spaced craquelure, so that both the glaze and the dark body would conform to the aesthetic qualities of the Guan original. For the second type, to which the present example belongs, the usual pale gray Longquan clay was employed and the focus was on imitating the thick body, glaze color and craquelure of Guan wares. Imitation-Guan wares of this second category have the burnt-orange coloration at the unglazed foot that is characteristic of Longquan wares in general. 

The present vase is closely related to a Song dynasty faceted Longquan vase from the Qing Court Collection, now in the Palace Museum, Beijing, and published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, pl. 101. Both vases share the same form, size, and proportions. The collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, also includes a Song dynasty Guanyao hu-form vase of similar proportions, though slightly taller and without the facets, published in ibid., pl. 3.

Other small, faceted Longquan vases attributed to the Song and Yuan dynasties include a square-section pear-shaped vase formerly in the collections of K.M. Semon and Frederick M. Mayer, illustrated in Warren E. Cox, The Book of Pottery and Porcelain, vol. I, New York, 1944, p. 148, and also in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. I, London, 1994, vol. I, no. 553. For a related Song dynasty Longquan pear-shaped vase, but without facets, see an example from the Laiyantang Collection and published in Mason M. Wang, Song Ceramics from the Laiyantang Collection, self-published, 2010, pl. 44.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 11 September 2019