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Title

Tea bowl

0960-1279

Artist

Jian ware

China

  • Details

    Other Title
    Jian ware tea bowl
    Place where the work was made
    Fujian Province China
    Period
    Song dynasty 960 - 1279 → China
    Date
    0960-1279
    Media category
    Ceramic
    Materials used
    stoneware, tenmoku glaze, silver rim
    Dimensions
    6.9 x 12.4 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Purchased 1965
    Location
    Lower Asian gallery
    Accession number
    EC4.1965
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Jian ware

    Works in the collection

    4

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  • About

    The tea bowl was made in the Song dynasty (960-1279) in the south-eastern province of Fujian and was a type of stoneware produced in vast quantities for everyday use. Its appeal is in its glaze colour and texture and in the well-potted functional form. These bowls, of which this is an exceptionally fine example, were made near Jianning, in northern Fujian, probably from about the 10th century onwards. They are especially prized by the Japanese for use in the ceremonial drinking of tea which the form and the glaze would have been considered particularly appropriate. The Japanese name 'tenmoku' is thought to be a corruption of Tianmu, a mountain close to Hangzhou from which the ware may have been shipped.

    The body material is a dark brown stoneware covered in this example, with a thick, lustrous, dark blue-black glaze streaked with yellow (an effect commonly known as "hare's fur"). The colour is light brown near the mouth, having run thin there, to an extent causing some roughness at the rim. For this reason, the bowls are often metal bound, as with this bowl which has a swaged silver rim. These ferric oxide glazes were very viscous, which is indicated by the flow on the exterior, where the glaze has collected in a heavy roll some distance from the foot.

    J.H. Myrtle, AGNSW Quarterly, July 1965.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Fujian Province

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019

    • The Way We Eat, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Apr 2021–2022

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

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