Lot 162. A Massive Straw-Glazed 'dragon-handled' Amphora, Xing or Gongxian kilns, Tang dynasty (618-907); 22 1/4in (56.5cm) high. Sold for US$ 12,750 (€ 10,862). © Bonhams 2001-2021
Of extremely large size, the elegant rounded oviform body set below a tall waisted neck with a cup-shaped mouth, two dragon-form strapwork handles rising from the shoulder and biting the rim of the mouth, all under a finely-crackled straw glaze of green hue, attractively pooling at the shoulder and cup-shaped mouth.
Provenance: Collection of Nelson Rockefeller, prior to 1979
Sotheby's, New York, A Collecting Legacy: Property from the Collection of Nelson and Happy Rockefeller, 18 January 2019, lot 465
Note: For a smaller example with similar handles, dated to the 7th century, see J.J. Lally & Co., Oriental Art, Early Chinese White Wares, The Ronald W. Longsdorf Collection,, New York, September-October, 2015, no. 12. The authors cite a similar stoneware amphora with dragon handles discovered in a Tang dynasty tomb at the construction site of Xi'an Textile Factory Hospital, now in the Xi'an Institute of Cultural Relics Preservation, illustrated by Zhang (ed.) in Zhongguo chutu ciqi quanji (Complete Collection of Ceramic Art Unearthed in China), Vol. 15: Shaanxi, Beijing, 2008, p. 69, no. 69, described as "made in the Xing kilns in Hebei" but the author also notes that some scholars regard the vase as a product of the Gongyi (formerly called Gongxian) kilns in Henan province.
Another example in the Musee Guimet, Paris is illustrated by Paul-David, et. al, The World's Great Collections: Oriental Ceramics, Vol. 7: Musee Guimet, Paris, Tokyo, 1975.
Bonhams. Chinese Ceramics, Works of Art and Paintings, New York, 20 Sep 2021