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A VERY RARE GLAZED YINGQING PILLOW
10.000 € - 15.000 €
Description:China, late Southern Song/ Yuan dynasty, ca. 13th c.
L. 21,6 cm/ H. 12 cm (o.S.)
The base of the porcelain pillow is modeled in the shape of a reclining lady on a rectangular plinth with trimmed corners. She lies on her left side and supports her turned head with her raised left hand. Her right arm rests along the side of her body, paralleling the fluid folds of her loose robe and gown. A thick column carved with overlapping lotus petals emerges from her side to support a curved oval headrest, which is decorated as an enlarged lotus leaf with incised veins emanating from a central circle. A translucent, light bluish-green glaze covers the entire pillow pooling to deeper tones in the incised lines and recessed areas.
From an important southern German private collection, acquired in December 1989 from Michael Weisbrod, New York
Publ. Michael Weisbrod 'Metal, Mud and Minerals - An Exhibition of Chinese Works of Art', December 5-19, 1989. Cover illustration Catalog, no. 42, pp. 92-93
A yingqing pillow dated to the Southern Song Dynasty (12th-13th century) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is similar in shape, but the headrest is decorated with a design of two boys among peonies (Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, p. 112, pl. 107). The base of a very similar pillow missing its headrest was excavated in 1977 from a tomb in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province and is also attributed to the Song Dynasty (Wenwu, 1978, no.11, pl. 8, fig. 1). Another related pillow was recovered from the wreck of a Chinese merchant ship that sank of the coast of Korea and is now in the collection of the Korean National Museum in Seoul (Sekai Toji Zenshu, vol. 13, p. 140, fig. 14; and, The Sunken Treasures off the Sinan Coast, Tokyo National Museum, pl. 45). Valenstein dates the shipwreck to not long after June, 1323. A Chinese report discussing all three of these similar pillows dates the shipwreck to sometime before 1367 ("The Chinese Porcelains Found in the Shipwreck Off the Coast of Sinan, Korea," Kaogu Xuebao, 1979, no. 2, pp. 245-254, pl. II, nos. 1,2 and 3)
The piece is in excellent condition except for the right rear corner of the rectangular plinth which has been cleanly broken off