A carved tixi cinnabar lacquer cup-stand - Song Dynasty

Of circular section, the exterior deeply carved through the red lacquer to reveal two black layers, supported on a gently splayed foot decorated with simple scrolls and a prominent foot ring, both sides of the wide flange decorated with six ruyi-shaped lappets, encircling the similarly decorated cup-shaped receptacle, the hollow interior covered with a dark-brown lacquer, a red lacquer character inscribed on the inside near the base. 8cm (3 3/8in) high. (2) - Estimate: HK$70,000 - 90,000, $9,000 - 12,000 - Non adjugé.

宋 剔犀如意雲紋托盞

A lacquer cup-stand from the Lee family collection, Tokyo, with similar carved tixi design, but on a black ground is illustrated in Dragon and Phoenix, Chinese Lacquer Ware, Cologne, 1990 pg. 41; and again in the Oriental Ceramics Society of Hong Kong exhibition catalogue 2000 Years of Chinese Lacquer, Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 23.

In his article Sung and Yuan Monochrome Lacquers in the Freer Gallery, Ars Orientalis, The Arts of Islam and the East 9, 1973, Hin-Cheung Lovell discusses the mallow-shaped ceramics in relationship to Song dynasty ceramics. "Cup stands of lacquer were not made as drinking vessels themselves but as stands for a ceramic bowl that would be placed directly onto the stand's wide bowl. An elaborately decorated stand such as this fine piece might have been paired with a bowl of plain white porcelain, brown-glazed stoneware, or a more ornamental piece of fine celadon".

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Bonhams.Fine Chinese Ceramics, Works of Art and Paintings, 26 Nov 2007. JW Marriott Hotel, Admiralty, Hong Kong