The dating of this lot is consistent with the result of a termoluminescence test, C-Link Research & Development Ltd., 6601CH69.
This pillow is notable for the bold and confident carved strokes of the design of a blooming peony stem surrounded by luxurious curling leaves. Rendered in slight relief, the design is subtly accentuated by the darker pools of the glaze while the restrained use of combed lines enhances the rhythmic quality of the piece.
Compare a Cizhou-type pillow of related ruyi-form and carved with a peony stem, but with a punched ground, from the collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, sold at Christie’s New York, 17th-18th September 2015, lot 2337.
Cizhou pillows of this type include one with a very similar design carved through white slip, included in the exhibition 100 Ceramic Pillows: Formerly the Hayashibara Museum Collection, T. Edo Inouye & Son Oriental Art, Tokyo, 2012, cat. no. 99; and a cream-glazed example carved with a leafy floral bloom against a punched ground, from the collection of David and Nayda Utterberg, sold in these rooms, 16th March 2016, lot 213.