Lot 3211
  • 3211


800,000 - 1,200,000 HKD
5,140,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • ceramic
skilfully and sturdily potted with tapering sides rising to a flat border encircling a circular bowl-shaped cavity, each sloping side fashioned with a cusped opening revealing a seated Buddhist figure with rudimentary outlines on the interior simulating a niche, covered overall save for the unglazed base with a pale milky-blue glaze draining to a light mushroom tone at the edges and extremities, the unglazed base centred with a circular opening and burnt orange-brown in the firing


Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, New York, 1999.


The Grandeur of Chinese Art Treasures: Min Chiu Society Golden Jubilee Exhibition, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 2010-11, cat. no. 106.

Catalogue Note

Vessels of this type are extremely rare and only one other related example covered in a Junyao glaze appears to have been published, from the Sir Percival David Collection, now in the British Museum, London. It is illustrated in S. Yorke Hardy, Illustrated Catalogue of Tung, Ju, Kuan, Chün, Kuang-tung & Glazed I-hsing Wares, London, 1953, pl. A51, where the author mentions another similar example from the Grandidier Collection in the Musée Guimet, Paris.

In its form and decoration this vessel is a curious mixture of influences: while its general form appears to derive from ceramic inkstones made from as early as the Tang dynasty, the shaped apertures that reveal eight Buddhist figures, are reminiscent of the niches seen in Buddhist pagodas. The Buddhist character of this piece suggests that it was probably used in a Buddhist context.

Vessels of this form were made as early as the Song dynasty at the Yaozhou kilns in Shaanxi province, such as a piece attributed to the Song period, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (I), Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 96; and another recovered from the Yaozhou kiln complex Huangbaozhen, Tongchuan county, illustrated in Yaozhou yao/ Yaozhou Kiln, Xi’an, 1992, p. 60 bottom.