Lot 3225
  • 3225


60,000 - 80,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • ceramics
of circular section, the instrument well hollowed with an aperture at the top, one side skilfully depicted with the face of a foreigner, the stern countenance picked out with piercing eyes beneath furrowed brows, centred with a prominent nose above a moustache and thick lips, the cheeks further pierced with two further apertures, the well-pronounced facial features framed by curly tufts of hair and a fleshy chin, covered in a pale sage-green glaze stopping short of the unglazed convex reverse


Galaxie Company, Hong Kong, prior to 1990.

Catalogue Note

Northern Qi whistles of this type modelled to depict a foreigner are unusual although a similar example from the Meiyintang Collection is illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 3, pt. 2, London, 2006, no. 1365. See also whistles modelled as monster masks, such as one attributed to the Tang dynasty, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum. Ceramics, vol. 4, Sui, Tang and Five Dynasties, Beijing, 2013, pl. 126; another covered in a black glaze illustrated in Liu Zunyi, Yaozhou yao/ Yaozhou Kiln, Xi’an, 1992, p. 28 top right; and two sancai examples illustrated in Xie Mingliang, Zhongguo gudai qian youtao de shijie [The world of ancient Chinese lead-glazed wares], Taipei, 2014, pls 4.37 and 5.94.

Similar depictions of foreigners are discussed by Suzanne G. Valenstein in Cultural Convergence in the Northern Qi Period. A Flamboyant Chinese Ceramic Container, New York, 2007, pp. 48 and 49, where she suggests a Hellenistic prototype for these figures.