A rare blue, amber and cream-glazed tripod censer, Tang dynasty (AD 618-907)

Lot 2077. A  rare blue, amber and cream-glazed tripod censer, Tang dynasty (AD 618-907); 8½ in. (21.6 cm.) wideEstimate USD 20,000 - USD 30,000. Price Realized USD 35,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2014. 

The compressed globular body is raised on three lion paw supports and is covered with a cream glaze streaked in blue and amber that falls from between the four blue-glazed, molded appliques on the shoulder to also cover the four leaping mythical beasts applied to the sides. The short neck is glazed amber and the outward-turned rim is striped in blue and amber. There is a thin ochre wash on the interior.

Provenance: Acquired in Hong Kong in 1998.

NoteTripod jars of this type, decorated with sancai glazes and applied decoration, were made during the 8th century. A related tripod jar with applied decoration of medallions on the shoulder and leaping mythical beasts on the sides, dated to the Tang dynasty, 8th century, is illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 11, Sui and T'ang Dynasties, Tokyo, 1976, p. 60, no. 44. The principal glaze colors on this jar are green and amber, with some small areas of blue, unlike the more liberal use of blue glaze on the present jar.

The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no. C113m8 is consistent with the dating of this lot.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 20 - 21 March 2014