The Dream Quest Collection was assembled since 1990. Beginning with an interest in Cizhou ceramic pillows, the collector gradually expanded his collection to other provincial kilns. Thence, a comprehensive collection of over 100 ceramic pillows, spanning from the Tang to the Qing dynasties, of various shapes, techniques, glazes and decoration was amassed. The Dream Quest Collection of ceramic pillows is unquestionably second to the renowned Yeung Wing Tak Collection.

An amber-glazed marbled pillow, Tang dynasty (618-907)

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Lot 426. An amber-glazed marbled pillow, Tang dynasty (618-907); 14.8 cmEstimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD. Lot sold: 138,600 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

The dating of this lot is consistent with the result of a thermoluminescence test, Oxford Authentication Ltd, sample no. C107e20.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pl. 48.

A sancai 'floral' pillow Tang dynasty

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Lot 427. A sancai 'floral' pillow, Tang dynasty (618-907); Japanese wood box, 11 cmEstimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD. Lot sold: 176,400 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pl. 54.

A rare qingbai brown-splashed 'lion' pillow, Northern Song dynasty (960-1126)

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Lot 428. A rare qingbai brown-splashed 'lion' pillow, Northern Song dynasty  (960-1126); 17.2 cmEstimate: 40,000 - 60,000 HKD. Lot sold: 226,800 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pl. 5.

NoteCompare a similar example in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 13.1406 [https://collections.mfa.org/objects/13195/headrest-with-sculpted-lion-stand].

A Shanxi carved 'peony' pillow and a Henan carved 'floral' pillow, Northern Song - Jin dynasty (960-1234)

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Lot 429. A Shanxi carved 'peony' pillow and a Henan carved 'floral' pillow, Northern Song  - Jin dynasty  (960-1234); 25.5 and 27.7 cmEstimate: 40,000 - 60,000 HKD. Lot sold: 151,200 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

The dating of the Henan 'floral' pillow is consistent with the result of a thermoluminescence test, Oxford Authentication Ltd, sample no. P107e19.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pls 12 and 21.

A sancai carved rectangular pillow and an amber-glazed 'bird' pillow, Northern Song - Jin dynasty (960-1234)

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Lot 430. A sancai carved rectangular pillow and an amber-glazed 'bird' pillow, Northern Song  - Jin dynasty  (960-1234); Japanese wood boxes, 63 and 50 cmEstimate: 40,000 - 60,000 HKD. Lot sold: 138,600 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

The dating of the amber-glazed pillow is consistent with the result of a thermoluminescence test, Oxford Authentication Ltd, sample no. P206a61.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pls 12 and 21.

A rare Dingyao carved and painted 'deer' pillow, Northern Song dynasty (960-1126)

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Lot 431. rare Dingyao carved and painted 'deer' pillow, Northern Song  dynasty (960-1126); 24.8 cmEstimate: 40,000 - 60,000 HKD. Lot sold: 138,600 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pl. 18.

A Shanxi black-painted 'floral' pillow, Northern Song dynasty (960-1126)

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Lot 432. A Shanxi black-painted 'floral' pillow, Northern Song  dynasty (960-1126); 25.3 cmEstimate: 40,000 - 60,000 HKD. Lot sold: 47,880 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pl. 32.

A sancai carved 'peony' pillow and a Jizhou green-glazed carved 'peony' pillow, Northern Song dynasty (960-1126)

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Lot 433. A sancai carved 'peony' pillow and a Jizhou green-glazed carved 'peony' pillow, Northern Song  dynasty (960-1126); 23.7 and 31 cmEstimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD. Lot sold: 47,880 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pls 64 and 79.

A Shouzhou straw-glazed papercut pillow, Tang dynasty (618-907)

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Lot 434. Shouzhou straw-glazed papercut pillow, Tang  dynasty (618-907); 15 cmEstimate: 50,000 - 70,000 HKD. Unsold. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pl. 52.

Note: Shouzhou kiln was active in production from Sui to late Tang dynasties. It was one of the six most famous kilns in Tang dynasty.  Shouzhou pillow is an exceptionally rare form.

A rare qingbai 'boy and dragon' pillow, Northern Song dynasty (960-1126)

 

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Lot 435. A rare qingbai 'boy and dragon' pillowNorthern Song dynasty (960-1126); 18.5 cmEstimate: 60,000 - 80,000 HKD. Lot sold: 138,600 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pl. 1.

Note: Compare a similar pillow in the collection of the Museum of the Nanyue King of Western Han Dynasty, Guangzhou.

A Shanxi inscribed pillow and a Yaozhou black-glazed pillow, Jin and Northern Song dynasty

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Lot 436. A Shanxi inscribed pillow and a Yaozhou black-glazed pillowJin and Northern Song dynasty; 18.5 cmEstimate: 20,000 - 30,000 HKD. Lot sold: 50,400 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pls 37 and 86.

A rare sancai 'ox' pillow, Tang dynasty (618-907)

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Lot 437. A rare sancai 'ox' pillow, Tang dynasty (618-907); 14.7 cmEstimate: 60,000 - 80,000 HKD. Lot sold: 378,000 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, p 62.

A sancai 'mythical beast' pillow and an amber-glazed 'diaper' rectangular pillow, Northern Song dynasty (960-1126)

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Lot 438. sancai 'mythical beast' pillow and an amber-glazed 'diaper' rectangular pillow, Northern Song dynasty (960-1126)18.1 and 17.7 cmEstimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD. Lot sold: 69,300 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

LiteratureLin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pls 51 and 67.

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Lot 439. Cizhou painted 'lotus' pillow and a Shanxi carved 'peony' pillow, Northern Song and Jin dynastyCizhou pillow: Zhangjiazhen mark, 24.8 and 29 cmEstimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD. Lot sold: 40,320 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pls 42 and 23.

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Lot 440. Two Cizhou 'goose' pillows, Northern Song and Jin dynasty20.4 and 30.3 cmEstimate: 30,000 - 50,000 HKD. Lot sold: 30,240 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Literature: Lin Baozhao and Kong Chao (ed.), Dream Quest: The Mark Lam Collection of Chinese Ceramic Pillows, Shanghai, 2008, pls 9 and 35.

Sotheby'sCHINA / 5000 YEARS, Hong Kong, 26 May 2021