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A rare and large carved Dingyao 'fish' basin

A rare and large carved Dingyao ‘fish’ basin, Northern Song-Jin Dynasty. Sold for HK$ 1,480,000 (€155,312). Photo Bonhams.

Beautifully potted with curved sides rising from a shallow circular foot, the exterior incised with two tiers of overlapping lotus petals, the interior boldly carved with deft strokes of the knife with an aquatic scene of a carp swimming in the pond, its tail vigorously flexed upwards and body decorated in cross-hatched motif, above a backdrop of floating waterweed and swirling waves, all applied in a creamy ivory-white glaze.33.4cm (13 1/8in) diam.

Notes: The large potted basin is characterised as one of the largest Ding wares in production during the Northern Song dynasty, with similar examples in the Qing Court Collection, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Porcelain of the Song Dynasty I, Hong Kong, 1996, pl.56. See also another related example of a large Dingyao basin but decorated with lotus blossom towards the interior, illustrated in Illustrated Catalogue of Sung Dynasty Porcelain of the National Palace Museum. Ting Ware and Ting-type Ware, Taipei, 1973, pl.34.

See a very similar Dingyao basin illustrated in Sotheby’s Thirty Years in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2003, pl.103, which were sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 31 October 1995, lot 343 and again at Sotheby’s New York, 31 March 2005, lot 32. Compare also a related but smaller example of a large lobed basin which was previously in the Alfred Clark collection (no.760), then subsequently sold to Sakamoto Goro at Sotheby’s London, 2 March 1971, lot 135 and again at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 8 April 2014, lot 11.