Red-and-green glaze is a form of decoration particularly popular through Song Dynasty. It mainly uses two colors of glaze, red and green, to paint ornamental patterns or write Chinese characters as decoration. This small bowl is one example of those emblazoned with poems of that period. At the center there is the paneled decoration (Kaiguang) of a poem, “Among the green aspens is a market selling wine, among the red apricots is a village selling flowers.” Red glaze is used to draw out the outline of the panel, and green glaze is used to fill in the blanks. Red-and-green glazed ceramics is a highly characteristic type during Song and Jin Dynasties. The contrast between the two colors makes the patterns and characters stand out, conveying a sense of the secular life of Song people.
This tea bowl is conical shape reminiscence of amboo hat (douli), its rim is curving slightly outwards, and it rests on a small round foot. The bowl is glazed celadon except for the foot showing the taupe colored body, the celadon glaze presenting a yellow-green hue. On the exterior, radiating lines with the foot as the center are carved as decoration. On the inner side, patterns of swimming fish in the sea are impressed down, the sea wave motif especially distinct, giving a sense of roaring waves. Four small fish are scattered in the bowl, portraying a state of carefree roaming, explaining what the Chinese philosophy of “you are not a fish, so how would you know the happiness of one.”
This tea bowl is shaped to be small and delicate, with a small round foot. The inner side of the bowl is glazed black, with iron-rust colored glaze splashed and running downward. The irregular lines visually resemble hare’ fur, which makes the name, “Hare’s-Fur” Tea Bowl. On the exterior, brown iron-rust colored striations of “Hare’s Fur” glaze extend to the foot. Various details such as the foot being covered in black protection glaze show the noble status of this tea bowl. This “Hare’s Fur” glaze is an innovative form of decoration invented by Jian kiln of Song Dynasty. Many northern kilns imitated this decoration later on, and Shanxi Huairen kiln is one of them that reached the peak of perfection. It demonstrates how this specific type of glaze was popular during Song Dynasty nation-wide, even influencing countries of Eastern Asian.
Ding’ wares are ranked among the ‘five great wares’ of the Song, well known for its fine near-white body and an ivory-colored glaze. This vessel is carved with patterns of day lilies on the inner side, body thin and light, and glaze white and pure. The stems and leaves of the day lily patterns are smoothly carved, demonstrating sophisticated techniques. This kind of decoration also differs from the commonly seem day lily patterns of Ding ware as it is richer in visual motives, making it a worthy addition to the Song Dynasty Ding ware collection.
This is a sky-blue glazed tea bowl of Jun ware. The small vessel is covered on the exterior with glaze except for the round foot, while the underside of the foot is also applied with glaze. This kind of practice is considered as the characteristic feature of Song Dynasty Jun ware. Jun ware uses opaque glaze, which makes distinct flowing traces. The glaze is especially thin around the rim, showing the dark color of this lot's body, and close to the foot it becomes thicker. The exquisiteness of the calcination craft shows Jun ware’s status as one of the “Five Classic Wares”.
This tea bowl is conical shape reminiscence of amboo hat (douli), its rim is curving slightly outwards, and it rests on a small round foot. Inner side of the bowl is glazed black, with iron-rust colored splashed irregularly as decoration. This visual effect is pleasant to the eye and invites fancy reveries. Brown iron-rust glaze extends to the foot on the outside. This kind of decorative straked black glaze is typical for Song Dynasty Cizhou ware, and during the Song/Jin period this technique had reached a high level of maturity and popularity.
This Jar, with a short neck and four shoulder lugs, has the glaze resembling tortoise shell. To make a tortoiseshell-glazed vessel, craftsmen firstly applied a layer of glaze rich in ferric oxide all over the vessel and then randomly sprinkled another glaze low in ferric oxide over the previous one. When fired, the two glazes mingled to form unpredicted patterns. Primarily in the shapes of vase, jar, incense burner, and bowl, tortoiseshell-glazed vessels are common products of the Jizhou kiln.
Encased within the rectangular wooden frame with sliding glass panes at the front and back, the circular white enamel dial with painted black Roman hours and Arabic quarters along the outer minute track with centre second hand, framed by gilt-decorated bat and shou character amidst thick meandering lotus vine scrolls, the two train fusee movement with verge escapement, chiming the quarters on two bells, worked by a swinging pendulum with retractable lock.
This dish has rounded sides rising from a short straight foot to a barbed, four-pointed rim, glazed overall with an ivory-tinged glaze, the foot left unglazed revealing the white body. Quatrefoil dishes are commonly seen among Five Dynasties Period Ding kiln, imitating the shapes of gold-silver wares popular during Tang Dynasty. This Ding dish’s glaze is evenly applied with delicate crafts, making it a valuable addition to the collection of Ding wares.
This bowl is shaped like an East Asian broad-brimmed hat, or douli, with a wide, outward-curving mouth and a deep belly tapering towards the small round foot. The vessel is covered inside and out with evenly applied black glaze, with a persimmon-red colored rim. The douli is the most famous and widely recognized design of Song Dynasty tea bowls. Simple yet elegant, douli bowls were very much favored by the Song literati class. This item features a classic design and attractive color, and the full-body glaze shows the noble status of this bowl.
A water pot is a water container usually put on the desk to supply water to the ink slab. This Ding white glazed water pot was made during Northern Song Dynasty with a plump body and a round mouth. The body is decorated with four symmetrical protruding rope patterns. The vessel is covered in glaze except for the round foot, glaze pure and glossy, with a classic and delicate shape, making it a worthy addition to Ding ware collection of stationary accessories.
During Song Dynasty, the practice of whisking tea and competing tea (Tocha in Japanese when it became a trend in Japan) was greatly popular. The need for competing tea leads to the popularity of Jian ware. Song people’s standard for ceramics reached a peak, so the “hare’s fur” glazed “temmoku” ware (temmoku is a Japanese word adapted from Chinese, originally used by Song people for high quality Jian ware), with its stunning patterns coming from spontaneous transformation, came about. The bowl is conical shape, most famous in Jian ware, reminiscence of amboo hat (douli), with black glaze as the basic color. It is covered overall with a lustrous glaze, thinning at the rim with some short subtle russet streaks extending downwards, the glaze falling short of the foot to reveal the iron-black body, proving its identity of a Jianyang ware, as the black color is the characteristic result of the high iron content soil of Jianyang area.
This douli-shaped bowl was crafted by Cizhou kiln. White glaze is applied on the mouth with the rim delicately made. Half of the body is covered in black glaze, showing the other half in taupe color to the small round foot. White-rimmed bowls seem to be an imitation of Ding ware’s feature of lipped rim, representing how the people at that time tended to follow the trend of the aristocracy.
This cup stander is covered overall in black glaze, resembling the texture of black lacquer, centered by the U-shaped holder, all supported on a pedestal foot, covered overall in an even black glaze. Yaozhou kiln is a northern kiln famous for its celadon-glazed wares, and the amount of black-glazed wares is far less, making this piece much more precious.
This small jar has an ovoid body resting on a high straight foot, the shoulders applied with two small loop handles, the fitted domed cover potted with an overhanging rim and surmounted by a small knob, applied overall with an ivory-tinged glaze, save the foot ring revealing a smooth white ware. This jar has a complicated design and delicate craft, marking it an object belonging to the aristocrats at that time, which is rare to preserve in such a good condition to nowadays.
This bowl is shaped like an East Asian broad-brimmed hat, or douli, with a wide, outward-curving mouth and a deep belly tapering towards the small round foot. The vessel is covered inside and out with evenly applied celadon glaze of a darkish plum green hue. The douli is the most famous and widely recognized design of Song Dynasty tea bowls. Simple yet elegant, douli bowls were very much favored by the Song literati class. This item features a classic design and attractive color, showing all the widely admired aesthetic features of Song era ceramics.
Jizhou kiln is the most well known folk kiln of the south during Southern Song Dynasty, sharing the same level of fame with Cizhou kiln of the north. It produced mainly daily objects within which tea bowls is the most famous type. This tea bowl, with slightly rounded conical sides, is covered overall with a dark brownish-black glaze and splashed with beige tones simulating tortoiseshell, the glaze stopping neatly above short foot. The tea bowl is deigned with a geometric shape and evenly applied glaze, making it a valuable addition to the collection of Jizhou wares.
This bowl is shaped plump in the body, with a small round foot. Black iron-rust glaze is applied on the outside except for the foot and the mouth which show the white body. The inner side of the bowl is also glazed black, with iron-rust colored glaze splashed and running downward. During the Song/Jin period this kind of iron-rust glaze was a well used form of decoration, meaning that this kind of wares had reached a high level of maturity and popularity during that time.
Gongxian kiln is a north kiln greatly important during Tang Dynasty, already producing celadon bowls and high-foot plates in Sui Dynasty. Tang Gongxian wares were made in various colors and with different classic decorations, among which some of the white-glazed wares served as tributes. The upper part of this zhadou is shaped as a plate, the lower part a jar with a very trim waist, with no foot and no glaze on the bottom. This ware has a decorous shape with a fine porcelain body, covered fully in white glaze, glaze pure and transparent. The interior of the upper part is decorated with symmetrical stem patterns. The zhadou is truly a precious white-glazed ware of Gong.
The vase has a compressed globular body raised on a spreading pedestal foot, and is surmounted by a tall neck that flares towards the rim. The exterior, interior are covered with a soft sky-blue glaze.
The box is of cylindrical form, standing on short round foot, covered overall in white glaze. The glaze is fine and smooth. On the cover there are hints of flora patterns, marking the sophistication of Ding craft. Ding kiln is located in today Quyang, Hebei Province, started from Tang Dynasty and ended in Yuan Dynasty, lasting for six hundred to seven hundred years, especially famous for its white-glazed wares.
This protector deity is called Dorje Lepga. It is said that the worldly spirit Dorje Legpa was subjugated in the 8th century by Guru Padmasambhava and oath bound as a protector of Buddhism. His primary function is to safeguard the Revealed Treasure texts (Terma) of the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Dorje Legpa belongs to the category of Tibetan Buddhist Worldly Protectors, first worshiped by Nyingma School, latter by Kagyu and others. According to Nyingma scripts, he is considered as the head of the nine sets of protector deities. This gilt figure depicts him conventionally as a blacksmith with one face, two hands, and three eyes. The face is radiant with bared fangs, exhaling a poisonous breath, with hair flowing upward like flames, a powerful being with his dynamic posture. Along with its innovative design, making this piece highly collectable.
The Pala Empire was an imperial power during the Late Classical period on the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. It is named after its ruling dynasty, whose rulers bore names ending with the suffix of Pala. They were followers of the Mahayana and Tantric schools of Buddhism. The Pala school of sculptural art is recognized as a distinct phase of the Indian art, and is noted for the artistic genius of adding a number of elements of the Buddhist school what later called by Japanese as Mikky.. Because of the exquisite craft, expressive body language and facial expressions, made a big impact on Nepalese and Tibetan sculptures. This piece is an example of Tibetan figure of Buddha in Pala style. Avalokite vara is seated in rajalilasana on a raised double lotus throne, the right arm resting on the right knee and the lowered left hand holding a lotus stem, with tall jatamukata surmounted with lotus bud finial and fastened with decorative sash, wearing the bodhisattva jewelry with traces of cold gilding.
This figure has short curly hair, a round face with a peaceful expression. It is depicted vividly with a drinking horn in his left hand, right hand put next to his ear, as if he is singing a song. It is recorded that Milarepa used “Ox Horn Song” to enlighten Rechung so in some sculptures Milarepa is also depicted with an ox horn in hand. This figure shows Milarepa with a calm and solemn face, wearing a robe with delicate patterns on it, seated in a casual posture wearing a robe with delicate decorations, showing strong artistic appeal.
Avalokite vara is one of the many incarnations of what is called Guanyin in Chinese. This figure wears a flora coronet, hair in an ushnisha, deep eyes carved in rhombus shape, nose straight and wide, lips slightly pursed, showing facial features of Indians. She has a wide shoulder and a trim waist, upper body bared, standing with a stole circling her body; the lower part of her body is clad in Indian style dress with wave patterns, jades and pearls decorating her waist. A lotus flower is in her left hand which is decorated with bracelets just as her arms and legs. Wide bracelets consist a feature of Indian district. This figure is made in a typical 12th century Pala style, with a graceful design, especially the S-shaped body of the Avalokite vara, making the piece full of dynamics, staging a scarce and precious piece of artworks of Indian Pala.
This figure of Amitayus wears a coronet with an ushnisha on his head, annular rings hung below his ears. His face has a square shape, with a solemn expression on it. Shoulders wide and waist trim, the figure is represented with a jade and pearl necklace and a long chain on the upper body, lower half covered in a long skirt also with a jade and pearl belt, wrists and ankles bearing bracelets. A great number of pearls and precious stones were used on this figure, and the robe is depicted realistically with delicate draperies. The deity is seated in rajalilasana on a raised double lotus throne, the petals of lotus all exquisitely made. The figure has a perfect proportion and a delicate design, with the splendid golden glitter making it an exceptional addition to Buddhist arts collection.
This Avalokitesvara is represented with a round and full face and slightly open eyes, a shawl covering the shoulders down to the elbows, running into a knot at her chest, which was a popular feature during Jin and Yuan Dynasties. The deity wears a monk skirt on the lower half of her body, feet bare, seated in a casual posture on the pedestal that has patterns of dragons carved on the front side of it, red ground covered in golden lacquer.
Maitreya, also know as ‘Ci Shi’ in Chinese, is one of the Eight Great Bodhisattvas. According to Buddhist texts, Maitreya often sits in his heavenly palace in the Tushita paradise, teaching the pure dharma to deities and lamas, as a Bodhisattva. After Gautama Buddha got nirvana, Maitreya became the successor to him. He will appear in the future, at a time when the Buddha's teachings have been forgotten, and reintroduce his teachings to the world, as a Buddha. This particular figure appears to be a figure of Maitreya as a Bodhisattva.
Tsangnyon Heruka(1452-1507) was a famous Tibetan writer and a yogi in Ming dynasty, what one of his masterpieces is The Life of Milarepa. This figure is seated in relaxation attitude on a lotus pedestal, with the left hand holding a Kapala on top of thigh and the right a Vajra. The statue, apparently absorbed the art element of Han, is ornamented with inscriptions of Tibetan character on the back. This figure, with fine shape, exquisite workmanship, vivid expression and the Yong Le’s style of the lotus pedestal, absolutely shows the bronze style of Ming dynasty, and should be seen as the finest examples of bronzes in Yong Le period.
During Goryeo dynasty, the aristocracy is the center of the Korean society, interested in Song wares of that period. Chinese elements was entwined within the local life as lots of Chinese Song wares of daily life have been evacuated from the ruins of Goryeo’s capital city. Goryeo celadon wares, from the glaze to the shape, bear same features of Ru wares of that time, by which it can be deducted that Goryeo celadon wares were made in imitation of the Song Ru wares for the Goryeo aristocrats.
The long mitered rectangular top supported on paired recessed legs joined by a shaped apron with cirrus-cloud-shaped spandrels, elaborately inlaid overall in sections of mother-of-pearl on the black lacquer ground, the top with four sets of peony entwined with stems and leaves, within a broad frame of yuanbao-shaped panels. From the peeled-off parts a thick layer of grey protection coating can be covering the wooden body, and the black lacquer is applied upon it. A thick layer of Mother –of-pearl is filled into the grooves carved on the surface, which shows legacy of earlier techniques. The design of the decoration bears Ming style, and at the same time is a demonstration of the commonly seen transition style from Ming to Qing.
This Qing Dynasty brush pot is carved with images of literati gathering in the pine forest making tea. The oven, the kettles, the cups and the antique books, all the details are exquisitely engraved. Next to them are children playing under the trees, with a corner of rood above them suggesting a residence. At the end there are women sitting among the rocks in a foggy environment, watching the male literati’s elegant tea party. This brush pot is especially valuable for its old but beautiful wrapped slurry. The reason why bamboo brush pot can preform well in auctions frequently is the charming spirit of literati embodied in carved bamboo. A piece of carved bamboo with long history, good condition and excellent craft is reasonably the object of pursuit for many collectors.
Historically, the Longquan kilns were the most important producers of celadon ware, with items from the Song Dynasty enjoying the highest reputation. Not only does Song green ware tend to have the best quality, it also comes in a great variety of designs and finishes, the latter including pastel celadon, plum green, and dongqing (“ilex green”) glaze. This shallow washer has a wide mouth and flat bottom, with curved sides that show a melon-ribbed pattern. The entire vessel is covered in a thick and lustrous celadon glaze, with a lighter color where the body is bulging slightly, and a uniformly deeper hue in the concave parts, particularly of the melon rib design. This shading effect adds an extra touch of elegance and variety. The outer walls and round foot are neatly worked, with the foot’s unglazed underside revealing the reddish-brown tint of the body, a typical feature of Song era Longquan ware. This type of glaze surpasses the commonly seen glaze of that period, giving a sense of the poem “In spring green waves grow as blue as sapphire.”