Lot 1811. A rare Longquan celadon Guan-type octogonal stem cup, Yuan-Ming dynasty (1279-1644); 3 ¼ in. (8.4 cm.) high. Estimate: USD 20,000 - USD 30,000. Price realised USD 22,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.
The cup has flaring, faceted sides supported on a spreading stem foot encircled by a narrow collar, and is covered overall with a clear glaze of pale olive tone suffused with an extensive, icy crackle that thins on the raised areas. Together with a catalogue, Inki: hai, wan, taku tokubetsu tenji (The Special Exhibition of Vessels: Cups, Bowls and Cup Stands), Kuboso Museum, Izumi, 1989, Japanese wood box inscribed by ceramic scholar Fujioka Ryoichi (1909-1991).
Provenance: Private collection, Japan.
Literature: Kuboso Museum, Inki: hai, wan, taku tokubetsu tenji (The Special Exhibition of Vessels: Cups, Bowls and Cup Stands), Izumi, 1989, no. 279.
Exhibited: Izumi, Kuboso Museum, Inki: hai, wan, taku tokubetsu tenji (The Special Exhibition of Vessels: Cups, Bowls and Cup Stands), 1989.
Note: Fujioka Ryoichi (1909-1991) was a prominent Japanese scholar of Chinese ceramics. He worked for the Kyoto National Museum and the Nara National Museum, and participated in compilation of several seminal works on Chinese ceramics including the Toji Taikei, Heibonsha, 1972-1978.
The unusual shape of this rare stem cup is similar to that of a larger (13.3 cm.) Longquan celadon stem cup with molded panels left in the biscuit, illustrated in Splendour of Ancient Chinese Art: Selections from the Collections of T. T. Tsui Galleries of Chinese Art Worldwide, Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 38, where it is dated Yuan.
Guan-type wares produced at the Longquan kilns show considerable variation. Some examples have dark, slate-grey bodies and crackled, greyish-blue glaze while others imitate the cracked glaze and form of Guan but have the light grey stoneware bodies typical of standard Longquan ware. The present stem cup, with its golden-brown glaze, is of a type known as beishoku (‘golden rice grain color’) in Japanese. A rare beishoku Guanyao vase from the Tsuneichi Inoue Collection, dated to the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279), was sold at Sotheby’s, London, 13 May 2015, lot 32..
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 25 September 2020, New York