A splashed purple-back ‘jun’ bowl, Song-Jin Dynasty. Photo Sotheby’s
the deep flaring sides rising to a slightly incurved rim, covered overall in a rich sky-blue glaze punctuated with two vivid crimson-purple splashes on the interior, thinning to a dark-brown flecked mushroom tone at the rim, the underside liberally glazed in a bubble-suffused magenta color transmuting to sky-blue at the rim and base, stopping in an uneven line above the neatly knife-pared foot unglazed revealing the buff-orange body, Japanese wood box. Diameter 7 3/8 in., 18.8 cm. Estimation 50,000 — 70,000 USD
Provenance: Collection of Sir Edward Stern.
Collection of Montague Meyer.
Christie’s London, 14th April 1980, lot 239.
Purple-splashed ‘Jun’ bowls of this classic Northern Song shape are remarkable for their splendid coloration which displays a range of red and lavender tones. Rose Kerr in Song Dynasty Ceramics, London, 2004, p. 34, notes that the splashes found on ‘Jun’ wares are made with the brush application of copper in broad strokes or washes to dry bluish glazes, which then merged when fired. This copper painting provided a striking contrast with the thick bright blue glaze beneath and resulted in unique designs. Bowls of this type derive their aesthetic beauty from their elegant shape and rich glaze. Although such copper-splashed blue-glazed bowls are a characteristic product of the ‘Jun’ kilns of Henan, it is exceedingly rare to find a piece with such exquisite overall magenta coloring on the outside.
Splashed bowls of similar size include one from the Eumorfopoulos collection, sold twice in our London rooms, 29th May 1940, lot 193, and 10th November 2004, lot 541; and a slightly larger bowl in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics. The World’s Great Collections, vol. 11, Tokyo, 1982, pl. 47.
Sotheby’s. Chinese Art through the Eye of Sakamoto Gor: Song Ceramics, New York | 16 sept. 2014, 10:00 AM