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Jian ware tea bowl with hare’s fur markings



Jian ware


  • Details

    Other Titles
    宋 建窑兔毫盏
    宋 建窯兔毫盞
    Place where the work was made
    Fujian Province China
    Song dynasty 960 - 1279 → China
    Media category
    Materials used
    stoneware, tenmoku glaze, silver rim
    6.9 x 12.4 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1965
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Jian ware

    Works in the collection


  • 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 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

  • Provenance

    Newman's Antiques, pre Feb 1965, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Feb 1965.

Other works by Jian ware