A RARE CIZHOU-TYPE CUT-GLAZE 'TORTOISE'-SHAPED CANTEEN
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
A RARE CIZHOU-TYPE CUT-GLAZE 'TORTOISE'-SHAPED CANTEEN

JIN-YUAN DYNASTY, 13TH CENTURY

Details
A RARE CIZHOU-TYPE CUT-GLAZE 'TORTOISE'-SHAPED CANTEEN
JIN-YUAN DYNASTY, 13TH CENTURY
The compressed water bottle is covered with a lustrous brown glaze cut to reveal an abstract floral design encircling a bird in flight, all within double line borders. The sides are encircled by a groove divided by four short strap handles, below the wide, flat rim. The slightly rounded, conical lower body tapers to a flat, unglazed ring foot.
10 ¼ in. (26.1 cm.) diam.
Provenance
The Walter Hochstadter (1914-2007) Collection, and thence by descent to the present owner.

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Michael Bass
Michael Bass

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Lot Essay

A very similar Cizhou-type cut-glaze canteen with four straps spanning the encircling groove, and a shorter spout, dated Xixia or Jin-Yuan dynasty, late 12th-13th century, was sold at Christie's New York, The Collection of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth Part IV, 20 March 2015, lot 844. The Ellsworth bottle was illustrated by R. D. Mowry in Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers: Chinese Brown- and Black-Glazed Ceramics, 400-1400, Cambridge, 1996, pp. 202-204, no. 75, where the author notes, p. 203, that canteens of this flattened type are known as bianhu. Another with decoration cut or carved through a black glaze, dated 12th-13th century, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, is illustrated by R. Kerr in 'Kiln Sites of Ancient China', Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, Vol. 46, 1981-82, p. 61, pl. 18. This latter bottle has a short spout but no groove or straps. The shape of these vessels seems to first appear in grey pottery during the Neolithic period, such as the example ascribed to the Liangzhu culture (3300-2200 BC), illustrated in Gems of China's Cultural Relics, Beijing, 1992, no. 6, where it is described as a turtle-shaped pottery hu.

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