A RARE 'YUE' FIGURE OF A RECUMBENT RAM
WESTERN JIN DYNASTY, 3RD CENTURY AD
西晉 三世紀 越窰青釉臥羊水注
the large and well-modelled animal with its front and rear legs folded beneath the body, with a curvaceous spine and robust rump, its head raised and with a pierced aperture on top, detailed with a pair of bulging eyes and curled striated horns encircling large ears, a striated bead below the slightly open mouth, all highlighted with dark iron splashes and applied overall with an olive-green glaze
Length 16.3 cm, 6⅜ in.
The tips of the ears have been restored. There is wear/loss to the glaze under each leg, and adhered grits to the bottom. There is also crackle and expected wear and firing imperfections to the glaze throughout.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Stoneware figures of recumbent rams kneeling with their forelegs and their hind legs tucked-in and covered in this olive-green glaze, belong to a group of playful objects for the scholar’s desk made in kilns in northern Zhejiang and southern Jinagsu province. Numerous vessels of this type, in the form of various animals, have been recovered from tombs of the Three Kingdoms (220-265) and Western Jin dynasty (265-316), suggesting they were treasured items.
A closely related figure was included in exhibition Treasures from the Shanghai Museum, 6000 years of Chinese Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, 1983, cat. no. 57; another from the Barlow collection was included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition The Ceramic Art of China, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1971, cat. no. 26; was sold in our New York rooms, 4th June 1985, lot 148; and two were sold in our Hong Kong rooms, the first, 24th/25th November 2014, lot 1025, the second, 3rd/4th December 2015, lot 270.