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Stem cup

8th century CE-9th century CE


Unknown Artist

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Tang dynasty 618 - 907 → China
    8th century CE-9th century CE
    Media category
    Materials used
    marbled earthenware
    8.5 x 8.9 cm (irreg.)
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1979
    Not on display
    Accession number
  • About

    A marbled pottery stem cup, the bowl with rounded sides and slightly flared rim, supported on a short stem of unmarbled clay with a circular foot. The body of the bowl is made up of clays of two colours intermingled to imitate marble, and the whole object is covered with a transparent pale amber glaze. Tang marbled ware is extremely rare and this piece is a very good example of the type. The stem cup shape is in fact a less common shape among pieces of marbled ware.

    Asian Art Dept., AGNSW, 8 August 1979.

    Marbled wares first appear in the Tang dynasty and are a small category of ceramics whose existence indicates the Tang potters' experimental search for novelty. The effect was achieved by combining two clays of different colours in imitation of marble. The clay would have had to be pressed out in moulds rather than turned on the wheel to avoid any muddying of the marbled pattern. The pieces were then coated with a lead glaze, either straw coloured or sometimes green.

    The idea of marbled ware probably came from the Mediterranean area as marbling was known in ancient Roman pottery and was very common in classical glass.

    Jackie Menzies, 'Early Chinese Art', AGNSW, 1983. cat. no. XXXVII

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Early Chinese art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Feb 1983–08 May 1983

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

    • Jackie Menzies, Early Chinese Art, Sydney, 1983, not paginated. cat.no. XXXVII. See 'Further Information' for text.