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Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
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Leaf-Shaped Cup
China, Zhejiang Province; Southern Song (1127-1279) to Yuan (1279-1368) period (1127-1368), 13th century
Stoneware with glaze (Longquan ware)
H. 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm); D. 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm)across points
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The quiet shape, elegant glaze, and crazing of this unusual leaf-shaped cup illustrate the existence of close ties between some of the Longquan kilns, located in Zhejiang Province, and the Guan wares produced for the Southern Song court. The gray stoneware body of the piece is typical of Longquan wares, while the grayish green of its glaze differs from the more olive tone common in these ceramics. Moreover, crazing is unusual on Longquan wares, which are noted for their rich, glasslike glazes. The shape of the cup is distinctive and its function is difficult to determine. Similarly shaped silver vessels were made during the Yuan dynasty (1278 - 1367), and this cup has also been dated to that period. On the other hand, similarities between the taste manifested in this ceramic and that of the Southern Song period under the influence of the court suggest a date in the first half of the 13th century.
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