The following fifty-five lots, consigned from an important Asian collection, encompass the full range of Chinese ceramics, ranging from the Neolithic Yangshao culture to the closing years of the Qing dynasty. Highlights of the group include the superb Yaozhou box and cover (lot 302), probably created to contain chess (weiqi) pieces. It encapsulates what is sublime in Northern celadons, with its unctuous glaze and intricate incised design of peony flowers. There is also a superbly potted Dingyao washer (lot 308), acquired from the famous London dealership Eskenazi.
Many other ceramics in the group also have impeccable provenance, including those acquired in recent years from London dealerships such as S. Marchant & Son, and others with a much longer recorded history, formerly exhibited in the Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental Art and Archaeology at the University of Durham when they were in the collection of the Malaysian businessman Loke Wan Tho (1915-1964).
This flamboyant and brilliantly coloured tripod dish encapsulates the opulence of the Chinese court in the first half of the Tang dynasty. The luxuriant lotus flowers embody the spirit of Buddhism, so popular at the time.
A similar tripod dish, excavated at Luoyang, is illustrated in Zhongguo wenwu jinghua daquan: Taoci juan [Gems of China's cultural relics, ceramics section], Taipei, 1993, p. 130, fig. 452. See also an example from the Arthur M. Sackler collection, offered in our New York rooms, 19th September 2002, lot 59. Compare also sancai tripod dishes of the same form but differing designs, such as one decorated with geese in the Tokyo National Museum Collection, illustrated in Illustrated Catalogues of Tokyo National Museum- Chinese Ceramics, Tokyo, 1965, pl. 100, and another sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 1st June 2016, lot 3105. A Tang sancai basin with similar luxuriant decoration of a central stylised lotus encircled by star-shaped petals, from the collections of Mr and Mrs Eugene Bernat, Dr Ip Yee and T.Y. Chao, was sold in these rooms, 29th November 2018, lot 309.
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