A rare large white-glazed cup, Sui dynasty




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Lot 298. A rare large white-glazed cup, Sui dynasty (581-618). Diameter 4⅞ in,, 12.5 cm. Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 USD. © Sothebys.

Property from an American Private Collection. 

Provenance: Sotheby's New York, 30th March 2006, lot 8.

Note: Remarkable for its large size, this cup is a rare example of the high quality white wares produced during the Sui dynasty. Related cups have been discovered from Sui dynasty tombs, but are mostly of smaller size. See, for example, a group of three closely related cups attributed to the Xing kilns, excavated from the tomb of Li Yu, dated to the year 605, in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, published in Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, ‘Xi’an nanjiao sui liyu mu fajue jianbao [A brief report on the excavation of the Sui tomb of Li Yu in the southern rural of Xi’an]’, Wenwu, no. 7, 2009, fig. 28; and two other cups excavated from the tomb of Yuan Wei and his wife, dated 601, in Xianyang city, Shaanxi province, published in Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Xianyang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology, ‘Sui yuanwei fufu mu fajue jianbao [A brief report on the excavation of the Sui tomb of Yuan Wei and his wife]’ Kaogu yu wenwu Archaeology and Cultural Relics, no. 1, 2012, fig. 5, no. 1, together with three smaller cups, nos 2 and 4; and another, excavated from the dated tomb (607) of Zhang Lin and his wife in Chang’an district, Xi’an, now preserved in the Xi’an Institute of Cultural Relics Preservation, illustrated in Zhang Bai, Zhongguo chutu ciqi quanji / Complete Collection of Ceramic Art Unearthed in China, Beijing, 2008, pl. 14. Very few related cups of a comparable size have appeared in the market. See two sold in our London rooms, one from the George de Menasce Collection, 29th March 1977, lot 231, and the other, 13th December 1983, lot 137.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 23 March 2022