Lot 5
  • 5


50,000 - 70,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • 10.4 cm, 4 1/8  in.
the globular body with a broad tapering neck and flat everted rim, supported on three short cabriole legs, covered with a pale-blue glaze liberally applied with a large single splash transferring from purple to a purplish-red tone, the glaze thinning to a buff tone at the rim and falling short of the base of the legs to reveal the buff-coloured stoneware body  


Sotheby's London, 16th May 2012, lot 86.

Catalogue Note

This censer is remarkable for its thick luminous glaze that ranges from milky white on the neck to a deeper speckled blue. A large brilliant purple splash enlivens its overall appearance, while an attractive web of crackles is visible at the neck and on the interior. Inspired by archaic bronze prototypes, Jun censers of this form decorated with bright splashes of purplish-red derived from copper, were made from the 12th century. As seen on this censer, the splashes added a flamboyant effect to the piece, often with a strong calligraphic quality that was of immense appeal to the literati and nobility of the time. A splashed censer of similar proportions, from the collections of Alfred Shoenilight, F. Brodie and Enid Lodge, and the Meiyintang collection, now in the Musée Cernuschi, Paris, was included in the Museum’s exhibition L’âge d’or de la céramique chinoise, Paris, 1999, cat. no. 36; another in the Baur collection, Geneva, is illustrated in John Ayers, The Baur Collection, Geneva. Chinese Ceramics, vol. 1, Geneva, 1968, pl. A37; and a third was sold in our New York rooms, 19th September 2002, lot 79. See also a slightly smaller censer of this type, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Selection of Jun Ware. The Palace Museum Collection and Archaeological Excavation, Beijing, 2013, pl. 29; and another from the Muwen Tang collection, included in the exhibition Song Ceramics from the Kwan Collection, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1994, cat. no. 42, and sold at Christie‘s London, 8th June 1989, lot 49, and again in these rooms, 12th November 2003, lot 49.