Lot 1276. A rare Longquan celadon 'bamboo' vase, xianwenping, Southern Song dynasty, 12th-13th century, 10¾ in. (27.3 cm.) high. Estimate USD 30,000 - USD 50,000. Price realised USD 423,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013
The compressed, spreading body is carved with a series of shallow horizontal grooves, and the tall tapering neck is encircled by two bow-string bands in imitation of bamboo below the wide, galleried mouth with incurved rim. The vase is covered overall with an unctuous glaze of blue-green color ending just above the unglazed foot rim which has burnt orange in the firing.
Property from the Estate of Elizabeth Fondaras.
Note: As with other vases of this form, the raised encircling lines at the junction of the shoulder and neck, and one of the lower lines on the body, appear to be linked to luting lines. The fine, raised lines give the shape one of its Chinese names, xianwenping (string pattern vase).
Vases of this form are seen with two slightly different mouth rims. Some, like the taller example (31.7 cm.) in the Percival David Foundation included in Illustrated Catalogue of Celadon Wares in the Percival David Foundation, rev. ed. 1997, pp. 19 and 30, have a mouth similar to that of the present vase. Another, taller (31.2 cm.) vase of this type, is illustrated in Celadons from Longquan Kilns, Taipei, 1998, p. 147, no. 114. A vase (31 cm.) of this type in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 33 - Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, 1996, no. 103, has a similar body, but taller tapering neck, also encircled by two bow-string bands, and has a broader version of this mouth type with incurved rim. The other mouth type, which is shallowly dished but not incurved at the rim, can be seen on the vase from the Falk Collection sold at Christie's New York, 20 September 2001, lot 119, and also on a vase in the Nezu Art Museum, Tokyo, illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 12, Song, Tokyo, 1977, no. 81. The fact that the two versions were contemporary is emphasized by the finds from a Southern Song hoard excavated at Jinyucun, Suining City, Sichuan province, in 1991. These can be seen in the exhibition catalogue, Newly Discovered Southern Song Ceramics - A Thirteenth Century Time Capsule, Japan, 1998. Vases nos. 2-4 have a mouth similar to that of the present vase, while no. 5, has a mouth similar to the Nezu and Falk vases.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York, 19 - 20 September 2013