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Southern Qingbai Lidded Jar with Pinched Handles
Song Dynasty, 960 - 1279 A.D., China
Height: 22.8cm
 
A baluster form jar with high shoulders, narrow neck and large cup-shaped mouth rim. There are four double strand strap handles that run from the neck to the mouth and then double back to reattach at the shoulders. The sections of the handles between the shoulder and cup-mouth have been pinched along the entire strand. The handle is in the form of a pagoda with an upturned rim. The entire piece is covered with a finely crackled pale translucent glaze typical of southern Qinbai pieces. The under-foot is unglazed to reveal a pale white porcelaineous stoneware body. Although the form of the body is fairly common for Southern Qingbai pieces of the Song Dynasty, both the treatment of the handles and pagoda shaped lid are very rare. The lid is reminiscent of Cambodian pieces of the Khmer Dynasty, and suggest that this piece may have been destined as an export piece to Southeast Asia, and in turn, influenced their own wares.  This pagoda-shaped lid is also found on sutra mound jars exported to Japan in the 12th – 13th centuries. 

A piece with similar handles from a private Taiwanese collection is published in Wang Shao Lou Collection, Yu Ren Yuan, Taipei 2017.  Pg. 49

Provenance: Robert Hatfield Ellsworth Collection, New York

$24,000 USD