From the beginning of the dynasty with the white Ding type porcelain, some cups are multi-lobed, taking the shape of a blooming flower. This form has indeed a practical purpose because it helps to hold the brushes during washing.
900 years ago the "Northern" Song are overthrown by the Jin. The Song dynasty persists in the South with a new capital in Hangzhou. After a long reluctance to settle as far from their home base, the Southern Song recreate therein the best porcelain.
The main porcelain of the Southern Song is named guan. Mimicking the texture of the previous Northern pieces including the phenomenal Ru glaze, the guan porcelain offers new designs in a fertile rivalry between the traditionalists and the minimalist reformists. To please the formers, a great variety of new shapes imitates ancient bronzes and jades. The moderns are managing not without success to approach the quality of the Ru ware.
A Ru brush washer from the Northern Song 13.5 cm in diameter was sold for HK $ 208M including premium by Sotheby's on April 4, 2012.
In an extremely similar style, Sotheby's sells on October 3 in Hong Kong as lot 3105 a guan brush washer of the Southern Song 14 cm in diameter. The thick bluish green glaze with a classic crackle texture is glossy, without decoration. The color changes on the rim, voluntarily imitating not without humor the traces of the position in the kiln that had so much displeased the Song emperors in the early days of the Ding.
A guan dish of comparable design and shape 18 cm in diameter with a celadon glaze was sold for HK $ 26M including premium by Christie's on May 28, 2014.
SOLD for HK$ 81M including premium