(China – )
6.0 x 30.4 cm
Ding ware has been designated one of the 'five great wares' of China since the Song dynasty. One of the first wares known to have been used at the Imperial Court, Ding ware is characterised by its light buff-coloured body, its warm ivory-coloured glaze, and the fluidity of its carved designs. One innovation of Ding wares was to fire pieces upside-down in saggars, a technique which helped prevent warping. To prevent sticking, the mouths of pieces were not glazed: hence the copper rim (as seen on this piece) which is typical of Ding.
Despite all the technical advances that occurred at the Ding kilns, glazes tended to run in drops that are known in Chinese as 'tear drops' and which attracted the attention of poets. This splendid dish sports typical tear drops on its reverse side.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 17 May 2000
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Early Ceramics', Sydney, 2003, 104 (colour illus.).