A pottery pilgrim flask
with flattened globular body, short neck, everted rim and pierced foliate handles, moulded to both sides of the body with phoenix amongst fruiting vine branches, decorated overall in a cream glaze with brown splashes, the glaze falling short of the foot -- 6in. (15.2cms) high, presentation stand and glass cover.
Provenance: Oriental Ceramics Society 1949 and 1955 Exhibition labels to base. Alfred Clark Collection label to base.
A similar white glazed flask with confronting phoenix decoration, but with shorter neck and no iron spots was excavated from the tomb of Li Qingxun at Xi'an, Shaanxi, dated AD 608 (Sui Dynasty), ilustrated in 'Sekai Toji Zenshu', vol. 11, Sui and Tang, Shogakukan Series, Tokyo, 1976, p.21, no.9.