A rare and unusual Xingyao ‘parrot-shaped’ oval cup, Tang Dynasty-Five Dynasties. Estimate HK$ 350,000 – 450,000 (€36,000 – 46,000). Photo Bonhams.
Moulded with a large recumbent parrot forming one end, detailed with head turned backwards, a prominent beak, beady eyes, and naturalistically modelled feet in the interior, its wings flanking the sides between four moulded petals, covered overall in a thin slightly greenish-white glaze. 14.5cm wide
Notes: The most famous of the high-fired ceramics of the Tang Dynasty, Xing wares were regarded as the precursors of true porcelain.
Many of the ceramics of the Tang Dynasty exhibit the incredible creativity which contemporaneous craftsmen possessed, and reflect the cosmopolitan nature of the period’s arts and culture. Decorative elements, originating from foreign wares from lands further West, and new vessel shapes, were experimented with by innovative potters for markets in sophisticated metropolitan centres.
Ewers for instance, were shaped as various types of birds, including mandarin ducks and parrots. An amber-glazed parrot-shaped ewer, is excavated from the Jingzhishi Pagoda in Dingzhou, Hebei Province, is illustrated in Zhong guo tao qi ding ji tu dian: Chinese Ceramics Illustrated Classification, p.28, no.42.
A white-glazed parrot-shaped cup dated to the Sui Dynasty, excavated from the Guanbei kiln site in Neiqiu County, now in the Hebei Provincial Institute of Archaeology is illustrated in The Research on Celadon of Yue Kiln and White-glazed Porcelain of Xing Kiln, Ancient Chinese Ceramic Society, Beijing, p.295, pl.II. Compare with another very similar white-glazed parrot-shaped cup, discussed and illustrated by Mitsuru Uragami, in The 30th Anniversary of Uragami Sokyu-do, Tokyo, 2009, p.136.
Bonhams. THE FENG WEN TANG COLLECTION OF EARLY CHINESE CERAMICS, 9 Oct 2014 10:00 HKT. HONG KONG, ADMIRALTY