A rare Qingbai tixi-style carved meiping, Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279)

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Lot 1033. A rare Qingbai tixi-style carved meiping, Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279); 10 1⁄2 in. (26.5 cm.) high, Japanese wood boxEstimate USD 100,000 – USD 150,000Price realised USD 214,200. © Christie's 2022

The tall, high-shouldered, tapering body is carved with a broad band of scrolling tendrils between double line borders, all under a crackled glaze of pale aquamarine tone that continues over the short neck and molded rim and ends just above the foot to expose the fine ware.

Provenance: Acquired in Taipei in the 1980s.
Chinese Ceramics from the Yangdetang Collection; Christie's Hong Kong, 30 November 2016, lot 3140.

LiteratureTan Danjiong, History of Chinese Ceramics, vol. 2, Taipei, 1985, p. 477. (One of two).

NoteThe shape and decorations on qingbai wares were often fashioned after contemporaneous silver wares, and the current meiping is no exception. A silver meiping carved with ruyi-shaped scrolls, excavated in a Southern Song hoard in Sichuan, for example, was possibly an inspiration for the design of the current vase. The silver vase is illustrated in S. Kwan, 'Tixi wenyang fenqi chuyi', Proceedings of Conference on Ancient Chinese Lacquer, Hong Kong, 2012, p. 65, fig. 11.

Qingbai vases of similar shape and design are in the collection of important museums and institutions. An almost identical example in the Qing Court Collection, Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 167. Two other examples of varying sizes, one with a height of 26 cm. in the Sichuan Chongqing Museum, the other with a height of 35.1 cm. in the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, are illustrated in Zhongguo taoci quanji: Song Yuan qingbai ci, vol. 16, Kyoto, 1984, pls. 20 and 101. Another example with broader shoulders, registered as an Important Art Object in Japan, is illustrated in Mayuyama Seventy Years, vol. 1, Tokyo, 1976, pl. 450. An example in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York, is illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 11, New York, Tokyo, 1982, pl. 59. A slightly smaller example (28.6 cm. high) in the Idemitsu Collection is illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 423. One is in the Meiyintang Collection, see R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 1, London, p. 325, no. 606. Another vessel that is very close to the current vase, but with a cover that flares out at the lower edge, is in the Chang Foundation, Taipei and illustrated in Selected Chinese Ceramics from Han to Qing Dynasties, Chang Foundation, Taipei, 1990, pp. 154-5, no. 58.

A larger vase was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 26 November 2014, lot 3231. A similarly carved meiping with broader shoulders is illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu: Song, vol. 12, Tokyo, 1977, pl. 30; and another is illustrated in Mayuyama Seventy Years, Tokyo, 1976, pl. 417. Compare, also, the almost identical vase, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 2 December 2015, lot 2830.

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A rare large carved Qingbai meiping and cover, Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279); 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm.) high. Sold for HK$3,160,000 ($409,233) at Christie's Hong Kong, 26 November 2014, lot 3231. © Christie’s Image Ltd 2014

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A carved Qingbai meiping, Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Sold for HK$1,360,000 ($176,305) at Christie’s Hong Kong, 2 December 2015, lot 2830. © Christie’s Image Ltd 2015

(Cf. my post http://www.alaintruong.com/archives/2015/12/06/33031801.html)

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 25 march 2022