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Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
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Tea Bowl
China, Fujian Province; Southern Song period (1127-1279), 12th - 13th century
Stoneware with glaze with iron "hare's fur" and painted with overglaze iron brown slip, the rim bound with silver (Jian ware)
H. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm); D. 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The striking decoration of this bowl typifies the sophisticated technology used by potters in China from the 11th through the 13th century. The design known as "hare's fur" was created when iron used in the composition of the glaze rose to the surface during the firing process. This particular bowl is unusual because plum blossoms have been painted on top of the "hare's fur" design. This extra level of decoration is not common in Jian ware, and suggests that the bowl was produced for an important person. Traveling Buddhist monks introduced Jian wares into Japan, where they became extremely popular and influential.
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