Two Rare Guan Ware Vases, Song Dynasty, 'Bian-Jin' Guan ware and 'Xiu Nei Si' Seal Marks

5 months ago

Lot No. :LSL-GW-180111
Centuries of Style:Northern Song Dynasty(1*) (960 - 1127), Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279)
Feature:Two Guan ware'(2*) vases, porcelain of the 'Bian-Jin Guan ware' seal mark (Northern Song official porcelain), and 'Xiu Nei Si' seal mark (Southern Song official porcelain).
Source:Private collection
1* Historically, the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279)include both the Northern and the Southern Song. A period of reunification. Maritime trade was encouraged. Publication of handbooks and encyclopedias promoted the widespread dissemination of information. Mining, metal-casting, and industrial mass production reached a high level as water and road transportation improved. "Neo-Confucianism," a reinvigoration of traditional Confucianism with Buddhist and Daoist ideas, developed. Song emperors were among the greatest imperial patrons of the arts in Chinese history. They were avid collectors and generous supporters of a painting academy. Likewise, members of the civil-service bureaucracy, educated in literary, historical and artistic traditions shaped a new and potent artistic taste that continues to affect Chinese art today. The ceramic industry prospered and kilns spread all over China in order to meet export needs. In the coastal areas kilns established themselves making wares similar to the famous kilns in inner China. In the North, ceramics of the Liao, Jin and Western Xia dynasties combined the influence of the ceramic industry in Central Plains and the distinctive national features of their own. The early period (960-1126) during which the capital, Bianjing (modern Kaifeng), was located along the Yellow River is called Northern Song. In 1127 invasions from the north and west forced the dynasty to move to a southern capital, Hangzhou. This period is called Southern Song (1127-1279). Lyrical, intimate landscape painting and ceramic works noted for their quiet subtlety, characterizes art during this period.
2* In its larger meaning Guanyao is any any ceramic ware that was made specifically for the emperor. Initially it was referring to a specific Imperial Celadon ware probably first made in Kaifeng during the Northern Song and then continued in Hangzhou during the Southern Song. In that sense it was said that "Guan makes together with Ge, Ding, Jun and Ru up the 'Five Great Song Wares'". While each of these wares has its own distinctive characteristics the southern crackled wares of Guan and Ge have retained some of their mystery. While no unaminity of opinion have been reached it is generally thought that those wares with a single network of wide dark grey crackles are Guan, and those with a double crackle jinsi tiexian (gold thread and iron wire), should be designated Ge. Guan ware, literally means "official" ware; so certain Ru, Jun, and even Ding could be considered 'Guan' in the broad sense of being produced for the court.


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