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Well-molded as a duck seated with neck tightly arched and head facing forward, with a flower-form opening in the back of the hollow body, crisply molded allover with various sizes and types of feathers, the smaller curled feathers on the breast and lower body covered in an amber glaze falling onto the flaring circular foot, the wings and the scrolling feathers of the upswept tail striped and splash-glazed in green, amber and cream and the head glazed on top in green with a splash-glazed area on one cheek, the bill of cream color and the neck striped in amber and cream, with a cream glaze on the interior
13¼in. (33.6cm.) long

Lot Essay

Vessels of this type are normally grouped into two categories, those modeled with a long, slender neck as geese and those with short, thick necks and larger heads as ducks, as in the present lot. While most of the goose-form vessels tend to be larger, large duck-form vessels are also known and also appear to be slightly more rare than their goose-form counterparts

A similar vessel in the shape of a mandarin duck, excavated from a tomb at Shilicun, Xin'anxian, Henan and dated to the first half of the 8th century (approx. 25cm. long), is illustrated in Wenwu, 1976, no. 10, col. pl. 1 and also illustrated by William Watson, Tang and Liao Ceramics, New York, 1984, p. 44, pl. 23. Compare, also, the duck-form vessel of larger size (30.5cm. long) illustrated in Zhongguo taoci quanji; Tang sancai (The Great Treasury of Chinese Ceramics, Tang Sancai), Shanghai, 1983, pl. 84

For vessels of goose form see the example illustrated by Rene-Yvon Lefebvre d'Argencé, Chinese Ceramics in the Avery Brundage Collection, San Francisco, 1967, pl. XXV(B); and another of the same size, but with a cover, in the form of a lily pad with a toad knop, was included in the exhibition, The Arts of the T'ang Dynasty, Los Angeles County Museum, January 8 - February 17, 1957, Catalogue, no. 66

Compare, also, two duck-form vessels sold in these rooms, one the example from the Jingguangtang Collection, Part I, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, November 3, 1996, lot 599, and one formerly in the collection of Stephen Junkunc III, sold in these rooms, March 28, 1996, lot 319

The result of Oxford thermoluminescence test no. 866b43 is consistent with the dating of this lot

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