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Details & Cataloguing

Important Chinese Art

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A 'YAOZHOU' TRIPOD CENSER SONG DYNASTY
the compressed spherical body rising to a waisted neck and below the broad square-section everted rim, all supported on three lion-paw feet issuing from lion masks, covered overall with a glossy olive-green crackled glaze, pooling to a darker tone at the recessed areas at the shoulder and rim
18 cm, 7 1/8  in.
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Provenance

Acquired in Hong Kong, August 1990.

Catalogue Note

Covered with a subtle olive-green glaze and devoid of decoration save for the mask-head legs, this is a rare example of Yaozhou ware from the Song dynasty. Located in the Shaanxi province, the Yaozhou kilns were inspired by Yue celadon-glazed ware from the northern Zhejiang province from the Five Dynasties period (907-960) and gained prominence in the Song dynasty (960-1279) for its distinctive green-glazed stoneware that appealed to the taste of the literati. Although the majority of their output was devoted to the manufacture of vibrantly carved or moulded dishes and bowls, they also created a small number of carefully and individually crafted ceramics, such as the present piece.

A censer of this type, but of slightly larger size, from the Xiwenguo Zhai Collection, included in The Grandeur of Chinese Art Treasures: Min Chiu Society Golden Jubilee Exhibition, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 2010, cat. no. 100, was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 5th April 2017, lot 3231; and another, but with a longer neck, was sold at Christie’s New York, 5th June 1986, lot 172. Yaozhou tripod censers of this shape are more commonly seen decorated with various designs, such as one moulded with confronting bird marks divided by vertical notched flanges on the body, in the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, included in the Museum’s exhibition The Masterpieces of Yaozhou Ware, 1998, cat. no. 105; and another carved with a band of double key-frets below the rim and scrolling lotuses on the body, illustrated in Julian Thompson, ‘Chinese Celadons’, Arts of Asia, November-December, 1993, p. 66, sold in these rooms, 15th December 1981, lot 135 and again in our New York rooms, 7th November 2008, lot 273.

Important Chinese Art

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London