6. M4952



Chinese pottery blue glazed jar, guan, of well-rounded globular form with flat base and short flared neck, covered overall in a rich and even royal blue glaze extending in large splashes on the interior which also has a clear glaze, the rim with three spur marks from the firing.

8 1/8 inches, 21.7 cm high.

Tang dynasty, Gongxian kilns, Henan Province, 7th – 8th century.


Provenance & Additional Information

  • Sold by Hirano Kotoken, Tokyo, 1976.
  • Included by the Osaka Art Museum, Osaka, in their exhibition of Chugoku Bijutsu Ten Series: Zui To no Bijutsu, The Art of the Sui and Tang Dynasties, 1976, no. 1-45, pl. 9.
  • Sold by Sotheby’s New York in their auction of A Noble Pursuit, Important Chinese & Korean Art from a Private Japanese Collection, 11th September 2019, lot 522, pp. 100/1, where it notes, “Vessels covered entirely in cobalt blue were an innovation of the Tang dynasty that can be traced back to at least the 7th century. These wares were highly valued, as the cobalt used for making them is believed to have been imported.”
  • Published by Marchant in their exhibition of Chinese Ceramics Tang to Song, 2022, no. 6, pp. 18-19.
  • A jar and cover of similar proportions, also with the splashes and clear glaze on the interior, is included by Regina Krahl in Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, Volume Three (I), 1294, p. 271; another was included by the Idemitsu Museum of Art in their exhibition of Treasures along the Silk Road, no. 66, p. 44; a larger example in the National Trust Collection at Ascott House, Ascott, Buckinghamshire, and a smaller version from the Barlow Collection at the University of Sussex, Brighton, are illustrated by William Watson in Tang and Liao Ceramics, nos. 81 & 82, pp. 110-112; another formerly in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Right and exhibited without a cover at the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition of Arts of the T’ang Dynasty, 1951, no. 91, was included by Eskenazi in their exhibition of Early Chinese ceramics and works of art, 1974, no. 17, pp. 44/5.
  • These jars are considered to be a higher quality product when the glaze continues all the way to the foot rim.


Two chips to the underside of the rim and one flake to the rim retouched, approximately 14 glaze flakes on the body retouched, the largest approx. 3.5cm diameter, three foot chips restored, tiny foot nicks, three natural spur marks to the inner rim, surface wear.