• Important Chinese Lacquer from auction at Christies

    Sale 2730

    Important Chinese Lacquer from the Lee Family Collection

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1803


    Price Realised  


    SONG DYNASTY (960-1279)

    The shallow dish with an everted lobed rim reflecting the shape of the chrysanthemum petals forming the cavetto, the exterior of conforming floral shape, resting on a circular recessed base, the base with a square sealmark in red lacquer, against an attractive brownish-black lacquer covering the entire dish
    12 5/8 in. (32 cm.) wide, Japanese wood box

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    The Song dynasty is renowned for the simple elegance of both its lacquer and ceramic ware, where restrained decoration and beautifully balanced elegant shapes were the main characteristics. The present dish succinctly exemplifies the design concepts of the period. Its large size and slender chrysanthemum petal fluting is much rarer than the broader lobes seen on a number of other lacquer and ceramic objects dating to the Song period, such as the high-footed lacquer bowl with an inscription dating to A.D. 1066 in the Museé Guimet, illustrated in Tresors de Musee National du Palais, Taipei: Memoire d'Empire, Paris, 1998, p. 139. Another example (21.6 cm. diam.) of similar shape, from the collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, is illustrated in Hai-wai Yi-chen, Chinese Art in Overseas Collections: Lacquerware, 1987, no. 35. A smaller dish with similarly slender fluting was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 April 2001, lot 622. The chrysanthemum form is also found on fine ceramics of the Song dynasty. The closest in shape and size to the current lacquer vessel is a Guan ware dish in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the exhibition, China at the Inception of the Second Millennium - Art and Culture of the Song Dynasty, 2000, and illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 37. There are also examples of Ding ware dishes with fluted cavettos combined with a flattened rim and moulded decoration, such as the one from the Percival David Foundation, London, illustrated by J. Wirgin, Sung Ceramic Designs, London, 1979, pl. 98; and an example sold at Christie's King Street, 4 November 2008, lot 146.


    Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, 1977, Oriental Lacquer Arts, Catalogue, no. 422 Kyoto Chadou Sogou Kaikan: Ten Year Anniversary Special Exhibition, 1989, Cha No Yu no Shiki, 'Lacquer Ware for Tea Ceremony', Catalogue, no. 3 The Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne, 1990, Dragon and Phoenix, Chinese Lacquer Ware, The Lee Family Collection, Catalogue, no. 18
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990/91
    The Shoto Museum of Art, Shibuya, Japan, 1991, Chinese Lacquerware, Catalogue, no. 6