• Important Chinese Ceramics and auction at Christies

    Sale 2731

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1904


    Price Realised  

    Estimate On Request


    Of archaic bronze form, the ovoid body flanked by a pair of ribbed 'C'-shaped handles surmounted by ruyi heads, between a pair of raised flanges at the shoulder, the flared neck and splayed foot each encircled with four further relief moulded flanges, covered overall in an even lush unctuous glaze of deep, moss-green tone
    13 in. (32.5 cm.) high, stand, three Japanese wood boxes

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    The present vase was previously in the So Ken Un collection. The name 'So Ken Un' was the pseudonym of Mr. Jyutaro Matsumoto (1844-1913), one of the most famous businessmen and art collectors in the Kansai region during Meiji Period (1868-1912). He founded and owned several companies including Dai Hyaku Sanjyu Bank, Nankai Electric Railway, and Sanyo Electric Railway. Together Mr. Jyutaro Matsumoto and his son, Mr. Kozo Matsumoto formed a remarkable and renowned collection.

    In the 1933 auction catalogue entry for the So Ken Un collection, renowned Japanese scholar Ueda Kyosuke, discussed this vase in detail. He refers to the vase as of hakuzan form (or archaic style) and writes that of all the teadust-glazed vases of bronze form, this vase is among the most pleasing. The glaze, he writes, is of kurosoba tone, literally 'black soba', in imitation of archaic bronze patina; dark, rich blackish-green teadust tone, this is the finest example.

    The ownership of the vase was later transferred to Mr Konosuke Matsushita (1894-1989) who was the founder of Panasonic. He was one of the most admired managers in Japan and was often referred to as the "God of management". Mr Matsushita's management philosophy was widely adopted among Japanese enterprises and laid the foundation of economic growth in Japan. His influence also carried over into Japanese politics when he founded the Matsushita Seikei Jyuku (The Matsushita Institute of government and management) in 1980. The aim of this institute was to train young politicians and many of today's Japanese politicians carried out their studies at the prestigious Matsushita Institute.

    Compare this vase with two other teadust vases of the same form, the first illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 229; the other in the collection of Mr. Matsuzo Matsumoto, illustrated in Sokenan Bijutsu Shusei Zuroku, Kushu Denki Kido Gaisha, Japan, 1993, no. 206.

    Compare also to a Ru-type vase of this elegant shape included in the exhibition held in Toyota prefecture, The Hirota Fukkosai Collection, Ceramics, Tokyo, 2007, fig. 169, now in the National Museum of Tokyo. A vase of this form, but of a much lighter golden olive-green colour was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27 May 2008, lot 1591.


    The So Ken Un collection, property belonging to Mr. Jyutaro Matsumoto, the owner of the Kyushu Electric Railroad Company
    Konosuke Matsushita (1894-1989)


    Tokyo Bijutsu Club auction catalogue for the So Ken An collection, 1933, lot 206 (sold for Yen 19,000)
    Kyoto National Museum, The Special Exhibition in Memory of the New Building, Catalogue 1967, no. 311


    Kyoto National Museum, The Special Exhibition in Memory of the New Building, 1966