Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A PAINTED AND INCISED CIZHOU DEEP BOWL
A PAINTED AND INCISED CIZHOU DEEP BOWL

NORTHERN SONG-JIN DYNASTY (960-1234)

Details
A PAINTED AND INCISED CIZHOU DEEP BOWL
NORTHERN SONG-JIN DYNASTY (960-1234)
The bowl is well potted with a deep globular body rising from the straight, tall foot to an incurved rim. The exterior is freely painted in dark brown slip depicting two fish swimming among weeds. The details of the fish are incised through the brown slip to the creamy-white ground beneath. The interior is also covered in creamy-white slip, all under a clear glaze except the lower part of the exterior, exposing the unglazed body.
5 ¼ in. (13.2 cm.) high, Japanese lacquer cover, Japanese double wood box
Provenance
Mayuyama & Co., Tokyo.
The Ataka Collection.
Literature
Koyama Fujio, ed., Sekai toji zenshu (Collection of World’s Ceramics), vol. 10: China Sung and Liao Dynasties, Tokyo, 1956, no. 100.
Koyama Fujio, Soji (Song Ceramics), Tokyo, 1959, no. 21.
The Japan Ceramic Society & Yomiuri Shinbun, The Selected Pieces of Tang and Song Ceramics, Tokyo, 1964, no. 191.
Koyama Fujio, Toki koza (Lecture of Ceramics), vol. 6: Chgoku II So (China II Song), Tokyo, 1971, no. 48.
Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha, Ataka korekushon: chugoku toji meihin ten (Masterpieces of Old Chinese Ceramics from Ataka Collection), Tokyo, 1972, no. 22.
Hasebe Gakuji, Toji taikei 39: Jishu yo (Compendium of Ceramics 39: Cizhou Wares), Tokyo, 1974, no. 14.
Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha, Ataka korekushon: chugoku toji meihin ten (Masterpieces of Old Chinese Ceramics from Ataka Collection), Tokyo, 1975, no. 34.
Mayuyama Junkichi, Ryusen shuho (Mayuyama Seventy Years), Tokyo, 1976, vol. I, no. 551.
The Osaka Municipal Art Museum, So Gen no bijutsu (Art of the Song and Yuan Dynasties), Osaka, 1978, no. 1-172.
Hasebe Gakuji, Sekai toji zenshu (Ceramic Art of the World), vol. 13: Liao, Jin, Yuan, Tokyo, 1981, no. 16.
Christie’s, The Classic Age of Chinese Ceramic: An Exhibition of Song Treasures from the Linyushanren Collection, Hong Kong, 2012, pp. 140-141, no. 58.
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. 25.
Exhibited
The Japan Ceramic Society & Yomiuri Shinbun, Tokyo Nihonbashi Shirakiya Department Store, The Selected Pieces of Tang and Song Ceramics, 1964.
Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Osaka Mitsukoshi Department Store, Ataka korekushon: chugoku toji meihin ten (Masterpieces of Old Chinese Ceramics from Ataka Collection), November 1972.
Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Tokyo Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Department Store, Ataka korekushon: chugoku toji meihin ten (Masterpieces of Old Chinese Ceramics from Ataka Collection), September 1975.
The Osaka Municipal Art Museum, So Gen no bijutsu (Art of the Song and Yuan Dynasties), 1978.
Christie’s, The Classical Age of Chinese Ceramics: An Exhibition of Song Treasures from the Linyushanren Collection, Hong Kong, 22 to 27 November 2012; New York, 15 to 20 March 2013; London, 10 to 14 May 2013.

Brought to you by

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

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Cizhou wares are not specific to one kiln site. The term Cizhou is one of convenience used for a large group of widely varied ceramic wares made over a large area of Northern China. This ‘fish’ bowl, formerly in the world-renowned Ataka Collection, is one of the most universally recognized Cizhou vessels, and has been included in a number of important exhibitions and discussed extensively in literature.

The decoration of fish amongst aquatic plants was popular in Song paintings. Notable examples include a Northern Song handscroll, Luohua youyu tu, by Liu Ke, now in the Saint Louis Art Museum; a Southern Song album leaf attributed to Zhao Kexiong, now in the Metropolitan Museum of art; and a Southern Song handscroll, Yule tu (the Pleasure of Fishes) by Zhou Dongqin (fig. 1). This motif was inspired by a passage from the Daoist classic Zhuangzi, in which Zhuangzi strolling along a river, observes, “See how the small fish come out and dart around where they please! That’s what fish really enjoy!” His companion Huizi remarks, “You’re not a fish-how do you know what fish enjoy?” Zhuangzi replies, “You are not I, so how do you know I don’t know what fish enjoy?” On the present vessel the Cizhou potters’ free and skillful painting style brilliantly conveys the convincing impression of the flow of the water.

Bowls of similar shape to the current bowl have been excavated from the Guantai kilns in Cixian, Hebei province. According to archaeologists, deep bowls of the present shape belong to the late Phase II of the Guantai kiln, dating from the Jianzhongjingguo reign of Song Huizong to the Huangtong reign of Jin Xizong (1101-1149). The decoration on such bowls can be divided into three styles. Some of these were left plain white, such as the example illustrated in Archaeology Department of Peking University, Guantai Cizhou yaozhi, Beijing, 1997, col. pl. VI, no. 2. Some were decorated with linear sgraffiato designs incised through the slip to reveal the body beneath, ibid., col. pl. VI, no. 1, pl. XIII, no. 4. The majority of the deep bowls, both excavated and preserved in collections, however, are decorated with bold designs painted in black or dark brown slip, ibid., col. pl. VI, no. 3, pl. XIII, no. 3, pl. XIV, no. 1. A larger Cizhou ‘fish’ bowl of similar shape and decoration is in the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, and illustrated in Song Ceramics, Tokyo, 1999, no. 105.

More from The Classic Age of Chinese Ceramics: The Linyushanren Collection, Part II

View All
View All