A very rare Xingyao ewer, Tang-Five Dynasties period, 9th-10th century

Lot 2075. A  very rare Xingyao ewer, Tang-Five Dynasties period, 9th-10th century; 13 1/8 in. (33.2 cm.) highEstimate USD 120,000 - USD 180,000. Price Realized USD 425,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2014. 

The ewer is potted with an elegant pear-shaped body that rises to a narrow neck below the pinched and flared 'phoenix-head' mouth rim, and has a curved handle on one side. The vessel is covered inside and out with an ivory-white glaze that falls to the knife-trimmed edge of the spreading foot where the fine white ware is exposed.

Provenance: Sotheby's London, 8 December 1992, lot 132.
Sotheby's London, 19 June 2002, lot 14.

NoteThe Xing kilns in Hebei province were best known for the production of tea bowls, dishes and bowl stands, and larger vessels, such as ewers, are very rare. Compare a Dingyao ewer, dated to the Tang dynasty, of similar form, with a similar spout but with a phoenix-head cover, illustrated by Bai Zhang, ed., Complete Collection of Ceramic Art Unearthed in China, 2008, Hebei, no. 34. Another Dingyao ewer, dated to the Five Dynasties period, with a spout also of similar simplified phoenix-head shape, is illustrated ibid., no. 77.

The result of Oxford Authentication Ltd. thermoluminescence test no.666g67z is consistent with the dating of this lot.

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