This rare meiping
vase belongs to early Longquan wares of the Northern Song period, identifiable by the pale glaze similar to Yue ware and the freely carved friezes filling the surface. Such designs were further enlivened with parallel combed lines, as seen on the present vase; in comparison the molded or carved decorations of Southern Song Longquan wares typically rose in subtle relief.
A slightly larger meiping
of this form, carved with a similar design of sketchy lotus scrolls and bordered by leaves on a hatched ground at the shoulder and a band of long petals around the foot, in the Oxford Museum of Eastern Art, Oxford, is illustrated in Jan Wirgin, Sung Ceramic Designs
, Stockholm, 1970, pl. 37g, together with a taller example with an elongated body and less pronounced everted rim, pl. 37h, from the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; and another slightly smaller vase, in the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts, was included in the exhibition Longquan Ware: Chinese Celadon Beloved of the Japanese
, Aichi Prefectural Ceramic Museum, Nagoya, 2012, cat. no. 8. Compare also a meiping
of this type, from the collection of Sir Herbert and Lady Ingram, now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, published in Sekai toji zenshu
, vol. 12, Tokyo, 1977, p. 198, no. 179, which is decorated with a peony scroll with smaller blooms arranged in three ranks; sold in our London rooms, 5th November 1996, lot 725; and another sold in these rooms, from the Dexingshuwu collection, 18th March 2008, lot 86.
An early Longquan vase of this type, but with a less distinctive rim and carved with a denser scroll of smaller flowers, in the Chang Foundation, is included in James Spencer, Selected Chinese Ceramics from Han to Qing Dynasties
, Taipei, 1990, pl. 59.
For a prototype to this type of vase, but with slightly angled shoulders and carved with a peony scroll design, attributed to the Five Dynasties periods (907-960) illustrated in Longquan qingci, Beijing, 1966, pl. 2.