A RARE AND IMPORTANT 'DING' BOWL NORTHERN SONG DYNASTY
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Only one other bowl of the same form, size and almost identical decoration is known; the piece in the British Museum London, published in The World’s Great Collections. Oriental Ceramics, vol. 5, Tokyo, 1981, pl. 57. This bowl was bequeathed to the museum in 1947 by Henry J. Oppenheim, together with a small number of other ‘Ding’ pieces, including a plain dish with foliate rim, pl. 62, and a bowl with molded decoration of boys and flowers, pl. 61.
The kiln site identified with ‘Ding’ ware is located at Quyang in Ding county, Hebei province. This was an area formerly known as ‘Dingzhou’. ‘Ding’ production consisted mostly of small utilitarian wares such as dishes and bowls, generally left in their natural form undecorated in 10th and early 11th century. From the late 11th century and early 12th century they are increasingly incised and carved and later through the thirteenth century mold-impressed and densely patterned. Rose Kerr in her work on the collection of Song ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, mentions that the ‘fact that Ding ware was an official ware made one feature of its decoration especially pronounced. This was its tendency to mimic other, more precious materials such as gold and silver, huge quantities of which were stored in palace treasures’. See Rose Kerr, Song Ceramics, London, 1982, p. 102, for further information.