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    Sale 13755

    Classical Chinese Art from the Sui to the Song Dynasties

    1 June 2016, Convention Hall

  • Lot 3108



    Price Realised  


    The bowl is well potted with slightly rounded sides rising from a flat base. It is covered overall with an opaque white glaze with a faint bluish tinge, the base incised with two characters, da ying.
    6 1/2 in. (16.6 cm.) diam., box

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    Xing ware was the best quality white-glazed ceramic of the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD), particularly those inscribed with ying, da ying, and han lin marks as these were tribute wares to the court. Lu Minghua in his article ‘Xingyao ying zi ji dingyao yang ding kao, The Shanghai Museum Journal No. 4, 1987, p. 259, suggests that the character ying refers to the Bai bao da ying ku (the Imperial Repository of a Hundred Treasures). This repository is believed to have been established in the Kaiyuan period (713-741 AD) of the Tang dynasty, and was a treasury for the personal use of the emperor (mentioned in the Jiu Tangshu and the Xin Tangshu - the Old History of the Tang dynasty and the New History of the Tang dynasty, respectively). It is therefore reasonable to surmise that Xing wares were designated for the Bai bao da ying ku, were inscribed with ying and da ying marks.

    A few ying-marked Xing wares were found in archaeological excavations in Xi'an, including a ewer with a 13th year of Dazhong (859 AD) date inscribed in ink found in the Qinglong Temple, illustrated in Zhongguo chutu ciqi quanji (Complete Collection of Ceramic Art Unearthed in China), Beijing, 2008, vol. 15, p. 26, and five covered ewers with five accompanied dishes found in the site of Xingchangfang of Tang Chang'an (Xi'an), published in Wenwu (Cultural Relics), 2003, no. 12, pp. 81-88.

    Xing wares with da ying marks are extremely rare. Only some shards inscribed with this mark have been published, including one found in the construction site of the Fenghao Road in Xi'an and further ten were found in the old city of Xingtai, Hebei province, illustrated in Quan Kuishan, ‘Tang wudai shiqi dingyao chutan’, Palace Museum Journal, 2008, no. 4, p. 52, fig. 14. From the base and remnant piece it appears that they are of the same shape as the present bowl. It has been mentioned that this form with a flat base predates pieces with ying mark which is abbreviated from the characters, da ying (see ibid. p. 52).


    An Asian Private Collection, acquired in Hong Kong in 1996