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AN EXTREMELY RARE PAPER-CUT RESIST-DECORATED JIZHOU BOTTLE VASE
AN EXTREMELY RARE PAPER-CUT RESIST-DECORATED JIZHOU BOTTLE VASE
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AN EXTREMELY RARE PAPER-CUT RESIST-DECORATED JIZHOU BOTTLE VASE

SOUTHERN SONG DYNASTY (1127-1279)

Details
AN EXTREMELY RARE PAPER-CUT RESIST-DECORATED JIZHOU BOTTLE VASE
SOUTHERN SONG DYNASTY (1127-1279)
The vase is elegantly potted with a bulbous lower body supported on a short cylindrical foot and tapers to a long neck with an everted rim. The sides are finely decorated in resist technique with paper-cut decoration of two delicate phoenixes in flight, reserved in brown against the finely variegated ground of buff, caramel and dark brown tones simulating tortoise shell, which stops neatly at the foot revealing the orange-brown ware on the base.
8 ¼ in. (21 cm.) high, Japanese wood double box

Registered in Japan as an Important Art Object on 9 April 1941; deregistered on 4 September 2015.
with a Japanese wood double box
Provenance
Sen Sotan (1578-1658) Collection.
The Konoike Family Collection.
Konoike Zenemon Yukimasa, the 12th (1883-1954).
The Ataka Family Collection.
Literature
Senke Chuko Meibutsuki, an inventory of tea ceremony goods selected by Sen Sotan (1578- 1658), grandson of the great tea master, Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591), written circa mid-18th century.
Koyama Fujio, Chugoku meito hayakusen (Chinese ceramics: one hundred selected masterpieces from collections in Japan, England, France, and America), Tokyo, 1960, p. 79.
Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Ataka korekushon: chugoku toji meihin ten (Masterpieces of Old Chinese Ceramics from Ataka Collection), Tokyo, 1975, no. 57.
Koyama Fujio, Toji taikei (Compendium of Ceramics), vol. 38: Tenmoku, Tokyo, 1974, pl. 122.
Heibonsha, Chinese Ceramics, vol. 6: Temmoku, Tokyo, 1999, no. 55.
Asahi Shimbun, Song Ceramics, Tokyo, 1999, p. 119, no. 81.
Christie’s, The Classic Age of Chinese Ceramics, An Exhibition of Song Treasures from the Linyushanren Collection, Hong Kong, 2012, pp. 110-1, no. 42.
Rosemary Scott, ‘Chinese Classic Wares from a Japanese Collection: Song Ceramics from the Linyushanren Collection’, Arts of Asia, March-April 2014, pp. 97-108, fig. 14.
Exhibited
The Nezu Museum, Tokyo (by repute).
Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Chinese Ceramics, One Hundred Masterpieces, Tokyo, 1960.
Mitsukoshi Department Store, Chugoku Toji Meihin Ten (Masterpieces of Old Chinese Ceramics from the Ataka Collection), Tokyo, September 1975.
Asahi Shimbun, Song Ceramics, Tokyo, 6 March to 13 April 1999; Osaka, 25 April to 13 June 1999; Hagi, 20 June to 15 August 1999.

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Margaret Gristina (葛曼琪)
Margaret Gristina (葛曼琪) Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

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Lot Essay

Located in central Jiangxi province, the Jizhou kilns were perhaps the most daring, versatile and technically creative kilns of the Song dynasty. Although they produced a wide variety of wares, including northern-style white stonewares with molded and slip-painted designs, the kilns are perhaps most renowned for their innovative technique of using openwork paper cutouts as stencils to create resist designs. For a discussion of the processes involved in producing tortoiseshell glazes and designs using paper cut-outs, see R. D. Mowry, Hare’s Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers - Chinese Brown-and Black-glazed Ceramics, 400-1400, Cambridge, 1996, pp. 36-7.

It is exceptionally rare to find a Jizhou vase of this shape with paper-cut design of two phoenixes. Paper-cut designs of phoenixes are more often found on bowls, such as the example from the Falk Collection illustrated by R. D. Mowry, Hare’s Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers - Chinese Brown-and Black-glazed Ceramics, 400-1400, Cambridge, 1996, p. 243, no. 97, and subsequently sold in at Christie’s New York, 16 October, lot 92, or decorating brownish-black-glazed ovoid vases such as the example in the Harvard Art Museums illustrated ibid., pp. 253-4, no. 103, where the phoenixes are reserved in the biscuit and the details are picked out in black slip. Also of particular note is the extraordinarily well-preserved, lustrous glaze of the current vase which is accented by subtle milky blue streaks that concentrate in speckles on the wings of the two phoenixes.

Fenghuang (phoenix) is a combination of characters for the male and female animal, and thus the two phoenixes can be seen as representing a married couple and symbolizing marital felicity. The phoenix also symbolizes the qualities of virtue, duty, correct behavior, reliability and humanity, all ideal attributes for a wife. In legends, the phoenix not only represents the ruler but is seen only in times of peace. Depicted among other birds on paintings and works of art, the phoenix symbolizes the ruler in harmony with his officials.

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