15. M5141



Chinese sancai, three-colour glazed pottery basin, pen, moulded in the centre with a six-petalled flowerhead encircled by six conjoined larger petals in cream, green and amber highlights on an amber glazed ground beneath a striped stylized petal border in the deep cavetto, beneath green and cream glaze on the rim, the exterior with amber glaze falling short of the smooth buff-coloured body, three interior spur marks.

7 13/16 inches, 19.8 cm diameter; 1 7/8 inches, 4.8 cm high.

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


Provenance & Additional Information

  • From an American private collection, This collection was put together in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
  • Included by Marchant in their exhibition of Chinese Ceramics Tang to Song, no. 15, pp. 44-45.
  • A similar basin of this size and design with blue stripes, was included by J. Lally & Co. in their exhibition of Early Chinese Ceramics, An American Private Collection, 2005, no. 11; another sancai example in the Musée Guimet, Paris, is illustrated by Basil Gray in Early Chinese Pottery and Porcelain, pl. 32.
  • Two basins of similar design are included by Junkichi Mayuyama in Mayuyama, Seventy Years, Volume One, nos. 284 & 286, p.103, one was again included by Mayuyama in their exhibition of Arts of the Tang Dynasty, 2017, no. 58, pp. 100/1; another, formerly in the Lord Cunliffe Collection, exhibited by the Oriental Ceramic Society in their exhibition of The Arts of the T’ang Dynasty, 1955, no. 83, was included by Eskenazi in their inaugural exhibition of Early Chinese ceramics and works of art, 1972, no. 34, pp. 62/3; another unearthed from no. 38 tomb at Erdianchang site in Zhitian, Gongyi, is in the Gongyi Museum and is illustrated by Sun Xinmin in Three-Color Ware of the Tang Dynasty, The Henan Province Discoveries, no. 69, p. 98; another of this size, Gutmann gift, collection no. C.93-1933, is illustrated by John Ayers in Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, no. 48; another in the Henan Museum with a speckled design in the cavetto and a striped exterior is illustrated by Prof. Liu Liang-yu in Early Wares: Prehistoric to Tenth Century, A Survey of Chinese Ceramics, p. 212.
  • A similar basin from the collections of M. Semon, Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Bernat, Dr. Ip Yee and T. Y. Chao, was sold by Sotheby’s Hong Kong in their auction of Chinese Art, 29th–30th November 2018, lot 309, pp. 16/7.
  • A similar basin was sold by Eskenazi, London, in March 2007, stock EK311, and was sold by Poly Auction Hong Kong in Tang Sancai Ceramics from the Ten-views Lingbi Rock Retreat Collection, 14th July 2022, lot 3231.
  • This popular design is featured on a tripod sancai dish from the Yokogawa Collection in the Tokyo National Museum and is illustrated by William Watson in Tang and Liao Ceramics, no. 25, p. 46; the central design is also on two tripod dishes included by Regina Krahl in Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, Volume Three (I), nos. 1269, pp. 247/8 and 1271, pp. 250/1.
  • The dating of this basin is consistent with the result of a thermoluminescence test, Oxford Authentication Ltd., no. C199g26.



Overall excellent condition, tiny glaze flakes/frits especially to the outer edge of the rim, three natural spur marks to the centre, firing imperfections including scratches and one gouge to the base, two tiny holes for thermoluminescence test to the base.