Lot 826. A russet decorated black-glazed ovoid bottle, xiaokou ping, Jin dynasty (1115-1234); 7 in. (17.7 cm.) high, Japanese wood box. Estimate: USD 8,000 - USD 12,000. Price realised USD 8,750. © Christie's 2021
The tapering ovoid bottle is surmounted by a small double-ribbed neck, and covered with a lustrous black glaze. The shoulder is painted in russet-brown with two long-tailed birds in flight.
Provenance: Sotheby’s New York, 4 December 1984, lot 241.
Mayuyama, Tokyo, November 2011.
Literature: Kaikodo Journal, New York, Spring 2012, no. 57.
Note: Ovoid jars of this type, with these distinctive small, double-ringed lips, are termed xiaokou ping (small-mouthed bottles) and were probably sealed with a fabric-wrapped wooden dowl and used for storing wine and other liquids. Typically dark-glazed, such bottles are often painted in russet or rust-brown slip with abstract floral decoration or designs suggestive of birds in flight, such as those seen on the present example, characteristically rendered with vigorous, calligraphic strokes.
A bottle from the collection of Robert M. Ferris IV with similarly-painted birds in flight rendered in russet against a black glaze is illustrated by R. Mowry, Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 1996, p. 162, no. 53. Another black-glazed example painted with birds in russet is illustrated R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 1, London, 1994, p. 255, no. 465
Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 23-24 september 2021