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Tang Artifacts for Appraisal and Auction

This saucer and cup are among a group of wares that were accessed by Ms Regina Krahl. Her report states: []
These Hebei white wares [...] are of very high quality. They are characterized by thin potting, and diligent use
of the knife for subsequent trimming. Shapes are therefore delicate and precise, with exacting profiles and neat
footrings with sharply cut edges. The pure white body material has a remarkably fine texture; the application
of a slip diluted white clay as found on other white wares, was unnecessary... the pieces were clearly high-
fired, and produce a clear sound when struck. The surface is evenly covered with the thinnest layer of glaze [...]
In terms of purity and smoothness of the body, evenness and clarity of the glaze, and precision of the profiles,
[these] examples can be classified among the best white wares known from this period. Very similar pieces have
been excavated from the Xing kiln sites. These [...] wares [...] have here therefore been attributed to the Xing
rather than the Ding kilns.

1
Cupstand with four indentations Rounded cup
Tang dynasty, early to mid-9th century Tang dynasty, early to mid-9th century
White-glazed stoneware White-glazed stoneware
Xing kilns, Hebei province Xing kilns, Hebei province
Ht. 3.2 cm, diam. mouth 14.4 cm Ht. 7.0 cm, diam. mouth 8.2 cm

The cup is of deep rounded shape with a slightly in-curved


The piece has steep sides and a wide everted rim, with a
rim, resting on a wide, straight-cut foot which is fairly thick
sharp edge between. The rim has four indentations in the
and slightly splayed both inside and out. The piece is made
form of cut-out triangular notches and four corresponding
of fine white clay, with fine bubbles in the thin glaze. The
raised ribs, applied in slip and neatly shaped. The outside
base is glazed, the footring unglazed. [...]
is plain, the straight foot is fairly thick, and finely and
sharply cut. The base is glazed, the footring unglazed. [...]
Related cup fragments have been recovered from Xing kiln
sites at Lincheng in Hebei province. A related cup, de-
A similar cupstand, also attributed to the Xing kilns, has
scribed as having an ivory-coloured glaze, was discovered
been discovered at the site of the Tang city of Yangzhou in
together with a flower-shaped cupstand with curled-up rim
Jiangsu province. Another was found at the reputed site
in a Tang tomb at Chaohu, Anhui province, whose owner
of the poet Bo Juyis (772846) house in Luoyang, Henan
was buried in 842.
province. A cupstand of related form has been excavated
at the Ding kiln site at Jiancicun, Hebei province; also to
Regina Krahl
have been published are another piece from a Ding kiln
site, and one found at Wenzhou in Zhejiang. [...]

Regina Krahl

Reference:
Reference:
See Yang Wenshan and Lin Yushan 1981, 41, fig. 6 and 42, fig. 14.
See Wang Qinjin 1994, pl. 417, fig. 4 (8). See Chaohu Diqu Wenwu Guanlisuo 1988, 524, fig. 3 (9) and fig. 4 (4 and 5).
See Mino Yutaka 1998, p.102, fig.43.
Illustrated in a line drawing in Wirgin 1970, fig. 33: 4.
Illustrated in a line drawing in Li Zhiyan 1998, 38: 15.
Illustrated in a line drawing in Watson 1984, 119, fig. 6q.

2
Conical bowl with bi-disc foot
Tang dynasty, early to mid-9th century
White-glazed stoneware
Xing kilns, Hebei province
Ht. 3.8 cm, diam. mouth 14.5 cm,

The shallow conical bowl has a thick turned-over rim with a


sharp edge, and rests on a solid foot in the form of an archaic
jade disc (bi), with a shallow recessed glazed centre. The piece is
undecorated. [...]

White bowls of this characteristic Tang form were made by many kilns both in northern and southern China. The finest
examples, similar to the present piece, have been recovered from various Xing ware kiln sites at Lincheng, Hebei province.
The sherds from the kiln site can be compared to related bowls and bowl fragments excavated in China and in Kyoto,
Japan. A fragmentary bowl and a base fragment from the Qicun kilnsite at Lincheng have been published together with a
complete Xing ware bowl of this type in the Shanghai Museum collection.

A conical bowl of white stoneware with bi-disc foot has been recovered together with a rounded bowl, a cup and a stand
from the tomb of Wu Jun at Chaohu city, Anhui province, who was buried in 842. [...]

Regina Krahl

Reference:
See, for example, Yang Wenshan and Lin Yushan 1981, 41, figs. 4 and 5, and p. 47.
Ibid.
In Zhou Lili 1982, 279, fig. 1, and 282, figs. 19 and 22.
See Chaohu Diqu Wenwu Guanlisuo 1988, 524, fig. 3.

3
Drinking cup with built-in spout and fish appliqu
Tang dynasty, 9th century
White ware with green dcor
North China
Ht. 10.5 cm, diam. mouth 10.5 cm

This quite exceptional type of long-stemmed cup has a little


hole perforated in its center, above which is an appliqu
dcor in the shape of a fish [] A hollow clay tube is at-
tached to the outer wall of the cup. This tube extends down
to the foot, where it connects with the central perforation,
thus serving as a kind of straw through which liquid can be
drawn. []

The Guihai Yuhengzhi by Fan Chengda (11261191) of the Song dynasty mentions a ceramic vessel known as a nose-
drinking cup (biyin bei). According to Fans account, the vessel featured a tube set along its side which allowed the user to
draw liquid from the cup with his nose. This was deemed of the preferable means of drinking during the summertime. Fans
record thus illustrates the original function of this particular design.

Prof. Xie Ming Liang

4
Square dish with rounded edges and incised
decoration
Tang dynasty, mid-9th century
Green-glazed stoneware
Yue kilns, Zhejiang province
Ht. 2.5 cm, 15 cm, diam.

The shallow square dish, [...] has a flared rim, rounded edges
with indented corners, and rests on a shallow circular foot
which curves towards the base.

[...] The dish is [...] incised with a circular floret surrounded


Reference: by four triangular leaf motifs, with four floral motifs reminis-
See Yangzhou bowuguan 1996, pl. 70. cent of lotus leaves on the four sides.

[...] The incising is done with deep outlines and fine details.
The outside is undecorated. The piece is fully glazed in a light
olive-green tone, leaving the footring free, where ten reddish-
brown marks remain from firing supports. Dishes like this [...]
are otherwise extremely rare.

A very similar dish was discovered among remains of the Tang


city of Yangzhou at Sanyuanlu, Yangzhou in Jiangsu province,
and is now kept at the Yangzhou Tang City Site Cultural Relics
Protection Bureau (Yangzhou Tangcheng yizhi wenwu baogu-
ansuo).

Regina Krahl