A rare green-glazed cizhou sgraffiato 'peony' vase. Northern Song dynasty, 11th century, or later

The well-balanced baluster body supported on a high splayed foot and with a tall tapering neck ending on a wide rolled-out everted rim, delicately carved and incised with two large peony blooms borne on leafy stems, all above a band of overlapping petals at the base. 11 in. (31 cm.) high. Est. £15,000 - £20,000 - Price realised : £18,750 

Provenance: Acquired by a European collector from Kusaka Shogado in Japan in the 1930's and thence by descent.

Notes: Green-glazed Cizhou vases of this shape and decoration are extremely rare, with only a few extant examples in public collections. Compare a similar vase included in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 12, Tokyo, 1977, p. 242, fig. 237; and another from the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, exhibited Song Ceramics, Tobu Museum of Art, 1999, cat. no. 102. See also a further similar example from the Idemitsu Museum, Tokyo, illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Museum Collection, Tokyo, 1986, pl. 117.

Compare also a very similar vase in the Baur Collection, Geneva, illustrated in J. Ayers, The Baur Collection, Chinese Ceramics I, Switzerland, 1968, pl. A78, where the author refers to a further similar vase from Mrs. A. Clarke collection illustrated in Oriental Ceramics Society Exhibition catalogue, Arts of the Sung Dynasty, 1960, no. 37, pl.40

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art including Export Art. 12 May 2009. London, King Street www.christies.com