US$100,000 Jin Dynasty Cizhou Sgraffiato Jar at Christie's Autumn Sale

Christie’s New York is going to bring us the fourth sale of the Linyushanren Collection. The mysterious collector is bringing a wide array of ceramics made in the Cizhou kiln from the Song to Yuan dynasties to New York. The highlight of the sale is a Cizhou Sgraffiato jar that was previously owned by Kobayashi Ichizo, founder of Toho Co., Ltd. It is estimated at US$100,000 - 150,000. 

Cizhou Sgraffiato Jar from the Jin dynasty

The jar, measuring at 18cm in height, was made in the Jin Dynasty. Painters decorated the jar with black patterns; the upper part are patterns that represent the tips of lotus petals while the lower part has geometric triangular patterns. They then shaved the dark slip from the background areas of the design, exposing the underlying white slip. The impressive provenance of this jar has made it a top lot of the sale. Record says that it was once owned by Kobayashi Ichizo (1873 - 1957, image above), founder of the film company Toho Co., Ltd.

Mr Ichizo was one of the most successful entrepreneurs. The establishment of his companies Toho,Takarazuka Revue, Hankyu Department Store and Hankyu Railway rocketed him to fame. He was also active in politics and was once Minister Of State and Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Kobayashi Ichizo established Toho, Takarazuka Revue, Hankyu Department Store and Hankyu Railway

Kobayashi Ichizo, sometimes referred to by the pseudonym Itsuō, was also an avid art collector. His former mansion ‘Gazoku Sanso’ was turned into an art gallery called Itsuo Art Museum, which opened in 1957. Amongst 5000 artworks in this collection, 15 are listed as ‘Important Cultural Properties’ and 20 are listed as ‘Important Artworks’.

After leaving Ichizo’s hands, the jar landed in the collection of Koyama Fujio (1900 - 1975), member of Japanese Society of Oriental Ceramic Studies. Then it became part of the Linyushanren and Sen Shu Tey collection.

Oshima Chiaki, master of Sen Shu Tey

‘Oil Spot’ Jian Tea Bowl, Southern Song Dynasty

Russet-Splashed Black-Glazed Conical Bowl, Northern Song Dynasty

Sen Shu Tey is famous for selling two ceramics for Linyushanren – an ‘oil spot’ Jian tea bowl from Southern Song Dynasty and a russet-splashed black-glazed conical bowl from Northern Song Dynasty. The Jian tea bowl was sold for US$11.7m in 2016 and the conical bowl was sold for US$4.21m in New York last year.

Oshima Chiaki, the master of Sen Shu Tey, has been in the antique business and specialised in Chinese ceramics for over 40 years. The mysterious collector Linyushanren is Chiaki’s close friend and client. In fact, the name ‘Linyushanren’ was given by Chiaki.

Parts of the Cizhou Sgraffiato Jar from the Jin dynasty

Cizhou wares were produced in a large number of sites in northern China, such as Henan, Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi and Jiangxi. In the early 11-12th centuries, many Cizhou wares were painted with plant patterns against a white-slipped body, as seen in the one featured in this article. In the 12-14th centuries, words and paintings became common subjects on Cizhou wares.

Masterpieces of Cizhou Ware: The Linyushanren Collection Part IV

A Very Rare Large Cizhou Sgraffiato Jar. Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234)

Lot no.: 827
Height: 18cm

  • Kobayashi Ichizo, Osaka.
  • Sen Shu Tey, Tokyo.

Estimate: US$100,000 - 150,000

A Very Rare Cizhou Sgraffiato ‘Peony’ Vase. Northern Song (960-1127)

Lot no.: 809
Height: 22.5cm

  • Hiroshima Koho (1889-1951),
  • Tokyo.Kochukyo, Tokyo.

Estimate: US$60,000 - 80,000

A Rare Large Painted Cizhou Truncated Meiping. Northern Song - Jin Dynasty (960 - 1234)

Lot no.: 815
Height: 24.1cm
Provenance: Kochukyo, Tokyo.
Estimate: US$60,000 - 80,000

A Rare Large Cizhou White Glazed Ewer. Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127)

Lot no.: 802
Height: 23.4cm
Provenance: Mayuyama, Tokyo.
Estimate: US$30,000 - 50,000

A Rare Cizhou Sgraffiato ‘Peony’ Meiping. Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127)

Lot no.: 814
Height: 31cm
Provenance: Kochukyo, Tokyo.
Estimate: US$30,000 - 50,000


Auction details

Auction house: Christie’s New York
Sale: Masterpieces of Cizhou Ware: The Linyushanren Collection Part IV
Lots offered: 41
7 - 8 September 2018|10am - 5pm
9 September 2018|1pm - 5pm
10 - 11 September 2018|10am - 5pm
12 September 2018|10am - 2pm
Auction: 2018/9/13|10am