Lot 83. A rare Cizhou green-glazed and iron-black-brown-painted and incised 'peony' baluster vase, Northern Song-Jin Dynasty, 12th Century; 11 5/8in (29.5cm) high. Estimate US$ 40,000 - 60,000 (€ 33,000 - 50,000). © Bonhams 2001-2021
The globular body with high shoulders below a tall widely flaring trumpet neck and supported on a spreading circular foot, brilliantly incised and painted in an iron-black-brown oxide to opposite sides of the body with a full blossoming peony flowerhead borne on a leafy scrolling stem at the mid body culminating in a large palmette-like leaf on the neck, the spreading foot incised with a band of feathery scrolls, all under an apple-green crackled-glaze which pools just above the unglazed foot rim and base interior.
Note: A number of analogous vases of this type have been published. These include, perhaps most importantly, a fragmentary vase illustrated in Guantai Cizhou Yaozhi (The Cizhou Kiln Site at Guantai), Beijing, 1997, pl. 70, fig. 1; another illustrated by Hasebe Gakuji, Toki Zenshu, 13, So no Jishuyo (Ceramics Anthology, 13, Song Cizhou ware), Tokyo, 1958, no. 46; and three illustrated by Yukato Mino, Freedom of Clay and Brush through Seven Centuries in Northern China: Tz'u-chou Type Wares, 960-1600 A.D., Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1980. One in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, ibid., pp. 214-5. pl. 95; another in the Burrell Collection at the Camphill Museum, Glasgow, fig 278; and one from a Japanese collection, fig. 277. Another in the Museum Yamato Bunkakan, Nara, Japan, which is identical in height is illustrated in Mayuyama Seventy Years, Volume One, p.188, no. 557. Another of identical form but slightly smaller is illustrated in Catalogue of Selected Masterpieces from the Nezu Collections, Tokyo, 2001, p. 59, col. pl. 56.
An important example sold at Christie's, New York, Masterworks of Ancient and Imperial China, 17 September 2008, lot 583. Another was exhibited at Christie's, Hong Kong , New York and London in a travelling exhibition in 2012-2013 and published in The Classic Age of Chinese Ceramics, An Exhibition of Song Treasures from the Linyushanren Collection, 2012, pp. 130-131, no. 52.
An outstanding Cizhou green-glazed painted baluster vase, Song-Jin Dynasty, 12th Century; 9 13/16 in. (25 cm.) high. Estimate: USD 600,000 - USD 800,000. Price realised USD 722,500 at Christie's, New York, 17 September 2008, lot 583. © Christie's Image Ltd 2008
See also two illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 10, Tokyo, 1955, pls. 121 and 122; one illustrated in The Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockfeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York, p. 66 (left), and another in The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: A Handbook of the Collection, New York, 1993, p. l295 (top). A comparable type is illustrated by Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 3 (II), London, 2006, p. 544, no. 1541 (fig. 1). A meiping belonging to this select group of green-glazed wares formerly in the George Eumorfopoulos collection and now in the British Museum, London, is illustrated by R.L. Hobson, The George Eumorfopoulos Collection, vol. 3, London, 1926, pl. LII.
In Cizhou wares of this distinctive type the motif most frequently depicted is an upright peony flowerhead borne on a scrolling stem spreading around the body whilst one large palmette-like leaf rises up the neck towards the rim. The pale pottery body is washed in a white slip which is then incised, oxide-painted and further incised and lastly covered with a green lead glaze.
Cizhou wares are more commonly famed for their carved or painted creamy-white and brown slip decoration that is carved away to reveal the paler body beneath, and this type too was occasionally covered with a green lead glaze. It seems that both these rare green-glazed wares; the slip-carved and the incised oxide-painted type, appear to have been exclusively made at the Guantai kilns as evidenced in the finds listed in Guantai Cizhou Yaozhi (The Cizhou Kiln Site at Guantai), Beijing, 1997, col. pl. 9, fig. 2; pl. 13, fig. 3 center; pl. 23, figs. 1 and 2; pl. 70, fig. 1; p. 123, fig. 52 (1 and 4); p. 127, fig. 54 (2).
For a vase of similar form but decorated in the ubiquitous slip-carved technique see Rosemary Scott, 'Chinese Classic Wares from a Japanese Collection: Song Ceramics from the Linyushanren Collection', Arts of Asia, March-April 2014, pp. 97-108, fig. 24 and also illustrated Christie's, The Classic Age of Chinese Ceramics: An Exhibition of Song Treasures from the Linyushanren Collection, Hong Kong, 2012, pp. 130-131, no. 52, and later sold at Christie's, New York, 22 March 2018, lot 517. See also Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 29-30 November 2018, lot 631 for another from the Xinyangtang collection.
A rare and important green-glazed Cizhou sgraffiato 'Peony' vase, Northern Song-Jin dynasty (960-1234) from the Linyushanren Collection; 8 ½ in. (21.5 cm.) high. Estimate USD 80,000 - USD 120,000. Price realised USD 250,000 at Christie's, New York, 22 March 2018, lot 517. © Christie's Images Ltd 2018
Property from the Xinyangtang Collection. Lot 631. A rare Cizhou painted green-glazed 'Peony' vase, Song dynasty (960-1279); 25.2 cm, 9 7/8 in. Estimate 300,000 — 400,000 HKD. Lot sold 1,250,000 HKD at Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 29-30 November 2018, lot 631. © Sotheby's
Bonhams. Chinese Works of Art and Paintings, 15 Mar 2021, 10:00 EDT, New York