Lot 2876. A rare Yue bird-form cup, Five Dynasties (907-960); 6 in. (15 cm.) long. Estimate HKD 80,000 - HKD 100,000. Price realised HKD 250,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.
The cup of deep rounded form is raised on a spreading foot. One side is potted with a bird standing upright detailed with round bulging eyes, a sharp beak and outstretched wings. The square-cut tail is detailed with incised lines indicating its plummage, and forms part of the handle on the opposite side. It is covered overall with an olive-green glaze with the exception of the base, revealing the reddish-brown body, box.
Provenance: An English private collection, acquired in Hong Kong in the 1980s.
Note: Bird-form vessels were used as ladles for wine for ritual purposes during the Warring States. The Yue kilns revived this form in the Five Dynasties period. Compare to a nearly identical bird-form cup also dated to the Five Dynasties in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Porcelain of the Jin and Tang Dynasties, Hong Kong, 1996, p. 256, no. 234, (fig. 1).
fig. 1. A Yue bird-form cup, Five Dynasties (907-960), in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing.
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 9 July 2020