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Warming bowl with celadon glaze, Ru ware, Northern Song dynasty

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Accession Number
Warming bowl with celadon glaze, Ru ware
Northern Song dynasty
H. 10.4 cm;Diam. 16.2 cm;Diam. of base. 8 cm;D. 7.6 cm
National Treasure


This bowl was molded. The even curves on its wall follow the foliated contour of the mouthrim. The entire vessel is coated in consistent and smooth celadon glaze, displaying a bluish green color. Both its interior and exterior walls are covered with crackles stained brown. With a high, splayed ring foot, this piece has five spur marks along the edge of its base. Similar specimens have been excavated from the kiln site in Qingliang Temple, Baofeng County, Henan Province. There existed two ways of firing for this type of vessel: fired on spurs for fully glazed vessels or on setters. In the Song dynasty, warming bowls and ewers were paired wine vessels for daily use. Their usage can be seen in mural paintings from the tombs of the Liao dynasty and in the painting, Literary Gathering (attributed to Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty, National Palace Museum). Apart from Ru ware, lotus-shaped warming bowls were also produced at kilns across northern and southern China and similarly-shaped vessels have appeared among Korean Goryeo celadon wares as well. In light of silverware discovered in Southern Song hoards, it can be surmised that the emergence and prevalence of ceramic ewers and lotus-shaped bowls reflect the contemporary trend of emulating gold and silver wares.

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