The collector, a learned reader of historical literature from a young age, is interested in all aspects relating to early ceramics, ranging from the manufacture to the aesthetics. Comprising mainly early Chinese ceramics and artefacts from the Silk Road which serve as tangible historical testaments, the collection has been formed over the last two decades with acquisitions made globally, many of which were further researched upon and included in exhibitions thereafter.

Between 2013 and 2016, over 200 pieces of early ceramics from the Claire and Francis Heritage Lane collection were on loan to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for educational and research purposes. These included glazed pottery jars from the Neolithic period and sancai vessels from the Tang dynasty to Vietnamese blue and white ceramics and Egyptian amulets, enabling further discoveries to be made in the field of academia and research.

The works offered in this sale are carefully selected to span from the Warring States to Republican periods. Having once been objects of research to the Master of the Claire and Francis Heritage Lane, it is with hope that these ceramic pieces will act as a bridge to like-minded individuals and deepen the search of their historical roots and heritage.

A sancai-glazed waterpot, Tang dynasty (618-907)

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Lot 301. A sancai-glazed waterpot, Tang dynasty (618-907); 7.7 cm, 3 in. Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD. Lot sold: 50,400 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

Provenance: Sotheby's New York, 23rd October 1976, lot 191.
Collection of Peter and Nancy Thompson.

Exhibited: From the Tang to the Qing: Chinese Ceramics from circa 618-1850 A.D. from the Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Peter Thompson, Hull University, Hull, 1996, cat. no. 9.

A Dingyao lobed bowl, Northern Song dynasty (960-1127)

A Dingyao lobed bowl, Northern Song dynasty (960-1127)

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Lot 302. A Dingyao lobed bowl, Northern Song dynasty (960-1127); 12.7 cm, 5 inEstimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD. Lot sold: 37,800 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

A Qingbai 'floral' dish, Song dynasty (960-1279)

Lot 304. A Qingbai 'floral' dish, Song dynasty (960-1279); 14.7 cm, 5¾ in. Estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 HKD. Lot sold: 63,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

Japanese wood box.

Provenance: Uragami Sokyu-do Co., Ltd., Tokyo.

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Lot 305. A Longquan celadon washer, Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279); 8.6 cm, 3⅜ inEstimate: 40,000 - 60,000 HKD. Lot sold: 63,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

A very rare Dingyao carved 'lotus' brushwasher, Northern Song dynasty (960-1127)

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Lot 307. A very rare Dingyao carved 'lotus' brushwasher, Northern Song dynasty (960-1127); h. 5.2 cm, 2 inEstimate: 300,000 - 500,000 HKD. Lot sold: 302,400 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

ProvenanceA European private collection.
Roger Keverne, London.
ExhibitedMapping AsiaExhibition, Asia Art Archive Library, Hong Kong, 2014.
In the palm of your hand. Miniatures in Chinese history and others, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, 2015-2016, cat. no. 54.

Note: The Ding kilns are known for their elegantly carved white porcelain, and lotus-decorated vessels are anything but uncommon. The majority of Ding wares, however, consists of bowls and dishes; only occasionally do we come across vessels of other forms. The present waterpot, dainty in size with gently rounded shoulders, swiftly carved with blooming lotus flowers, is highly unusual and related examples are rare.

A globular vessel of comparable size (h. 6.4 cm) in the Palace Museum, Beijing, incised on the base with the character guan (official), is published in Selection of Ding Ware: The Palace Museum’s Collection and Archaeological Excavation, Beijing, 2012, pl. 28; a larger jarlet of similar form (h. 9.3 cm), carved in relief with overlapping lotus petals, in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum, is illustrated in Yutaka Mino, Chūgoku no tōji [China’s ceramics], vol. 5: Hakuji [White wares], Tokyo, 1998, col. pl. 38; and a ‘lily’ jarlet with angular shoulders (h. 8 cm) from the Qing court collection and preserved in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is included in Decorated Porcelains of Dingzhou: White Ding Wares from the Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2014, cat. no. II-13 (fig. 1), together with a few excavated examples, pp. 292-293.

A Ding ‘Lily’ Jarlet, Northern Song Dynasty, 11th to 12th Century, Qing Court Collection, National Palace Museum, Taipei

Fig1. A Ding ‘Lily’ Jarlet, Northern Song Dynasty, 11th to 12th Century, Qing Court Collection, National Palace Museum, Taipei.

A rare straw-glazed stoneware percussion bell, Eastern Zhou dynasty

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Lot 311. A rare straw-glazed stoneware percussion bell, Eastern Zhou dynastyh. 37.5 cm, 14¾ inEstimate: 200,000 - 300,000 HKD. Lot sold: 252,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

Provenance: Collection of the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, by repute.

LiteratureAncient Chinese Ceramics from the Neolithic Period to the Western Han, Uragami Sokyu-do Co. Ltd., Tokyo, 1991, p. 9.

Note: The present pottery bell, carefully decorated with raised bosses and incised with a variety of patterns, closely resembles its bronze counterparts. In the Eastern Zhou period, similar bells were produced in sets to imitate the more expensive bronze musical instruments. However, relatively few examples have survived to the present day.

A set of five Eastern Zhou dynasty straw-glazed bells of comparable size (h. 35-38 cm), formerly in the collection of T.T. Tsui and now in the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, is illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art. Chinese Ceramics I: Neolithic to Liao, Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 9. Two similar glazed bells (h. 35.6 and 17.1 cm) are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, no. 1988.20.8 and no. 1997.442.1; the larger example is also included in Suzanne G. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, p. 35, fig. 31.

1988_20_8

Model of a bell (Yong Zhong), Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–256 B.C.), 5th century B.C. Earthenware. H. 14 in. (35.6 cm); W. 6 in. (15.2 cm), H. 14 in. (35.6 cm); W. 6 in. (15.2 cm), Charlotte C. and John C. Weber Collection, Gift of Charlotte C. and John C. Weber through the Live Oak Foundation, 1988, (1988.20.8)© 2000–2020 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1997_442_1_O1

Ceramic Model of a Bronze Bell, Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period (475–221 B.C.), 5th–3rd century B.C. Glazed stoneware. H: 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm); W: 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm); D: 4 in. (10.2 cm). Gift of Enid A. Haupt, 1997, 1997.442.1. © 2000–2020 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

An amber-glazed dish, Liao dynasty (907-1125)

An amber-glazed dish, Liao dynasty (907-1125)

Lot 314. An amber-glazed dish, Liao dynasty (907-1125); 19.3 cm, 7⅝ inEstimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD. Lot sold: 27,720 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

A shufu white-glazed 'floral' dish, Yuan dynasty (1279-1368)

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Lot 318. A shufu white-glazed 'floral' dish, Yuan dynasty (1279-1368); 19.3 cm, 7⅝ inEstimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD. Lot sold: 25,200 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

ProvenanceGallery Tezukayama Co. Ltd, Osaka.

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Lot 320. A Southern kiln white-rimmed black-glazed bowl, Song dynasty (960-1279); 9.6 cm, 3¾ inEstimate: 10,000 - 15,000 HKD. Lot sold: 6,300 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

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Lot 321. A blue and white 'floral' jarlet, Yuan dynasty and a Korean underglaze-red 'bird' bowl, Joseon dynasty; jarlet 5.7 cm, 2¼ in.; bowl 11.8 cm, 4⅝ inEstimate: 10,000 - 15,000 HKD. Lot sold: 6,300 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

ProvenanceSotheby's Hong Kong, 28th/29th November 2019, lot 411.

A rare beishoku 'guan' dish, Southern Song dynasty (1127-12379)

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Lot 328. A rare beishoku 'guan' dish, Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279); 12 cm, 4¾ inEstimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD. Lot sold: 27,720 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

the base inscribed in ink with a guan mark.

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Lot 330. A Junyao purple-splashed bowl, Yuan dynasty (1279-1368); 18 cm, 7⅛ inEstimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD. Lot sold: 40,320 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

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Lot 333. A Xing white-glazed conical bowl, Tang dynasty and a Yue celadon jarlet, Western Jin dynasty; bowl 15 cm, 5⅞ in.; jarlet 5.4 cm, 2⅛ inEstimate: 15,000 - 20,000 HKD. Lot sold: 21,420 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

Provenance: jarlet:
Collection of Dr Ip Yee.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 22nd November 1984, lot 646.
Collection of Peter and Nancy Thompson.
Mayuyama Co. Ltd, Tokyo.
Exhibited: jarlet:
From the Tang to the Qing: Chinese Ceramics from circa 618-1850 A.D. from the Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Peter Thompson, Hull University, Hull, 1996, cat. no. 13.
In the palm of your hand. Miniatures in Chinese history and others, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, 2015-2016, cat. no. 16.

 

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Lot 335. A Cizhou black-glazed bowl and a Cizhou white-glazed bowl, Northern Song dynasty (960-1127); black 12.6 cm, 5 in.; white 13.3 cm, 5¼ inEstimate: 15,000 - 20,000 HKD. Lot sold: 27,720 HKDPhoto: Sotheby's.

Provenance: white: Lam & Co Antiquities, Hong Kong.

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Lot 337. A persimon-glazed dish, Jin dynasty (1115-1234) and a Ge-type jarlet, Ming dynasty (1368-1644); dish 17.7 cm, 7 in.; jarlet 7.2 cm, 2¾ inEstimate: 6,000 - 8,000 HKD. Lot sold: 56,700 HKDPhoto: Sotheby's.

Provenancejarlet:
Collection of Sakamoto Goro (1923-2016).
Sotheby's New York, 17th September 2016, lot 920 (part lot).

 

A green-glazed carved 'boys' jar, Ming dynasty (1368-1644)

Lot 338. A green-glazed carved 'boys' jar, Ming dynasty (1368-1644); 18.2 cm, 7⅛ inEstimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD. Lot sold: 12,600 HKDPhoto: Sotheby's.

Provenance: Collection of Grace Brown Palmer, Chicago.
The Art Institute of Chicago, accessioned in 1967.

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Lot 339. Dehua 'leaf' washer, Qing dynasty, 17th-18th century; censer 10.8 cm, 4¼ in.; waterpot 7.7 cm, 3 inEstimate: 15,000 - 20,000 HKD. Lot sold: 20,160 HKDPhoto: Sotheby's.

the base of the censer impressed with a seal reading Jinding shangbiao (Factory mark of the Golden ding).

ExhibitedChinese Ceramics of the Transitional Period (circa 1620-1680 A.D.) from the Collection of Mr & Mrs Peter Thompson, Hull University, Hull, 1985, cat. no. 53.

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Lot 340. A Yixing tripod censer, by Wu Desheng, Early 20th century and an inscribed stoneware waterpot, Late Qing dynasty; 13.5 cm, 5⅜ inEstimate: 15,000 - 20,000 HKD. Lot sold: 6,300 HKDPhoto: Sotheby's.

Provenance: Collection of Peter and Nancy Thompson.
Priestly & Ferraro, London.

NoteWu Desheng Zisha Taocihang [Wu Desheng Purple Clay Pottery Company] was established in the 5th year of Republican Period in 1916 by Wu Hanwen, a zisha master and an entrepreneur from Dingshu in Yixing, who started as a potter in Yixing and later founded his own shop, where the commercial seal mark Jinding Shangbiao was used in the 20th century.

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Lot 342. A pair of blue and white cups, a pair of taper holders and a Dehua 'boy on buffalo' waterpot, Qing dynastycups 6.4 cm, 2½ in.; taper holders 8.8 cm, 3½ in.; waterpot 9.2 cm, 3⅝ inEstimate: 10,000 - 20,000 HKD. Lot sold: 11,340 HKDPhoto: Sotheby's.

Provenance: waterpot:
The Feng Wen Tang Collection.

Sotheby's. China / 5000 years, Hong Kong, 27 November 2020