A molded Longquan celadon baluster vase, Southern Song-Yuan dynasty, 12th-13th century

Lot 1355. A molded Longquan celadon baluster vase, Southern Song-Yuan dynasty, 12th-13th century; 11 7/8 in. (30.2 cm.) highEstimate USD 8,000 - USD 12,000Price realised USD 15,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2010. 

With rounded midsection decorated in relief with lotus scroll above upright petals and beneath a bow-string band and leafy lotus sprays on the neck that flares slightly towards the reduced, metal-bound rim

Provenance: Roland Moore, New York.
Herbert D. Robbins, New York.
The Late Bertram S. Boggis; Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 16-17 October 1958, lot 36.

ExhibitedSelections from the William and Winifred Corbin Collection of Chinese Pottery and Porcelain, Portland Art Museum, 1 - 29 March 1964, no. 20.
On loan to the Portland Art Museum, 1 June 2006 - 22 June 2010.

Note: At its finest, as on the current vase, Longquan celadon glaze is thick, translucent, and has a rich texture reminiscent of jade. The glaze on the current vase also displays the ideal soft bluish-green color, which was so difficult for potters to achieve, but has always been greatly admired by connoisseurs. This particularly fine glaze type is often known by the Japanese name 'kinuta', which in fact is the term for a mallet, but which refers to mallet-shaped vases, which were imported into Japan in the Southern Song (1127-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) dynasties, and became associated with this, the most desired, glaze color.

A Longquan celadon vase of larger size (65.7 cm.), but of similar proportions and with similar floral sprays applied in relief around the shoulder and on the neck, from The Art Institute of Chicago, is illustrated by Y. Mino and K. R. Tsiang in Ice and Green Clouds - Traditions of Chinese Celadon, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1986, p. 201, fig. 81, where it is dated Yuan dynasty, 14th century. Also illustrated, fig. 81b, is a baluster vase very similar to the current example, which was among five porcelain vessels contained within a pair of large cisterns unearthed east of Huhehot, Inner Mongolia. One of the other five vessels, a Junyao incense burner, bears an incised inscription, which Chinese archaeologists concluded corresponds to the year 1309.

See, also, the Longquan celadon vase of similar form and decoration, but of smaller size (25 cm.), and with cut horizontal ridges on the neck, recovered from the cargo of a trading vessel that sank off the coast of Sinan, South Korea, in the 1320s, included in the Special Exhibition of Cultural Relics Found off the Sinan Coast, National Museum of Korea, Seoul, 1977, col. pl. 10.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 16 - 17 September 2010