A rare 'Jizhou' 'plum blossom deer' meiping, Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279)

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Lot 127. A rare 'Jizhou' 'plum blossom deer' meiping, Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Height 8 1/2 in., 21.5 cmEstimate 220,000 — 240,000 USDLot sold 266,500 USD. Photo Sotheby's

the elegantly potted ovoid body with broad rounded shoulders, finely decorated with a buff-tone glaze on a dark brown ground with concentric rows of resist technique discs resembling the markings on the Sika deer, all below a key-fret band at the short neck and dots at the rolled rim, the footring unglazed revealing the light buff body.

Provenance: Sotheby's New York, 12th June 1984, lot 197.
Sotheby's London, 9th November 2005, lot 225

Note: The design on the present lot is thought to resemble the markings on the Sika deer, known in Chinese as meihua lu, plum blossom deer, because to the Chinese eye, the markings resemble plum blossoms.

A vase with this unusual decorative pattern to the glaze, but lacking the everted rim and key-fret band, was an important discovery among the Yuan dynasty hoard of ceramics in Yongxin county, Jiangxi province. Now in the Jiangxi Provincial Museum collection, the vase is illustrated in Jizhou Kiln, Beijing, 2007, no. 26 and in Zhongguo taoci quanji, vol. 10, Shanghai, 2000, pl. 162 and again in Ye Peilan, Yuandai ciqi, Beijing, 1998, pl. 533.

Compare a Jizhou vase of this shape and size and with similar spotted design but without the key-fret band around the short-waisted neck, sold in these rooms, 23rd March 2011, lot 536.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York, 11 september 2012