The crackled wares of the Southern Song dynasty - Ge ware and Guan ware - remain the subject of much scholarly debate and research. The subtlety of their glazes and the technological difficulty of their production have ensured that they have been highly prized since the time of their manufacture. They have also been very influential, inspiring later potters to try and produce similar glazes, often on similarly shaped vessels. The form of the current vase is one that lends itself particularly well to a crackled glaze. The form is simple and does not detract from the beauty of the glaze, but nevertheless serves to encourage crackle lines in pleasing arrangements.
Three Song dynasty Ge ware vases of this form, but with somewhat longer necks, in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, are illustrated in Porcelain of the National Palace Museum - Ko Ware of the Sung Dynasty Book I, Hong Kong, 1962, pls. 6, 7 and 8. Two Song dynasty Ge ware vases of this form, from the Qing court collection, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, are illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 33 - Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, 1996, pp. 40-2, nos. 35 and 36. Two Ge ware vases of similar shape, but with slightly longer necks from the Carl Kempe collection are illustrated by B. Gyllensvärd in Chinese Ceramics in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1964, p. 70, no. 176.
This simple, but attractive, form is seen among both Ge and Guan wares of the Song and Yuan dynasties. A Guan ware vase of this form but with a slightly shorter neck in the collection of the Shanghai Museum is illustrated in Exhibition of Treasures from the Shanghai Museum, San Francisco, 1983, no. 83. A Guan ware vase of similar form from the National Palace Museum, Taipei is illustrated in Porcelain of the National Palace Museum, Kuan Ware of the Sung Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1962, p. 39, pl. 11. A Ge or Guan ware vase of this pear-shaped form from the imperial collection appears on the Yongzheng scroll dated AD 1728 and entitled Guwan tu (Scroll of Antiquities) in the Percival David Foundation and is illustrated in China - The Three Emperors 1662-1795, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005, p. 253, no. 168.
A Ge ware vase of very similar form to the current vase was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 26 April 2004, lot 1020.