Chinese / Bottle / Northern Song period, late 11th-early 12th centuryChinese
Northern Song period, late 11th-early 12th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Name-CRT: Chinese
Title: Bottle
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1067
Creation End Date: 1133
Creation Date: Northern Song period, late 11th-early 12th century
Creation Place: North China
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramics
Materials and Techniques: Stoneware with slip and trailed slip under glaze (Cizhou ware)
Dimensions: H. 8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm); D. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.143
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: Ceramics made in China during the Song period (960-1279) are among the most influential and revered in the world: they are noted for their elegant, simple shapes, lush glazes, and lively designs. These ceramics are admired in part because of the complicated and varied technologies used in their manufacture. Song ceramics are categorized into wares that often take the names of their areas of production. Cizhou wares, such as the bottle illustrated here, are typically thickly potted, boldly decorated ceramics made for popular consumption. The Cizhou kilns were located in Ci Prefecture, Hebei Province, but this type of ware was also made in many kilns throughout Hebei, Henan, and Shaanxi provinces. The most common decoration of Cizhou ware consists of bold black-and-white patterns. However, the kilns producing Cizhou ware were also responsible for the production of ceramics with dark brown, dark blue, and black glazes. These wares are generally known as "northern black wares" or "Henan black wares" to distinguish them from similar but more famous ceramics made in southern China. These northern black wares, of which this bottle is an example, were widely distributed and used.

The unctuousness of the dark glaze covering this bottle, which dates to the late 11th or early 12th century, is typical of the glaze used to cover northern black wares. The truncated shape is unique to Song-period ceramics and is found in many types of wares. The method of decorating this bottle is similar to that found in other Cizhou wares: the light gray body was first covered with a brown slip, then decorative ribs were added by trailing lines of thick, white slip down the surface of the vessel. Finally, the bottle was covered with a thin, light brown glaze that appears almost black where it is densest. This blackness is a result of the iron in the glaze.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 66.
Related Document Description: Mowry, Robert D. 'The Sophistication of Song Dynasty Ceramics.' Apollo (November 1983), pp. 395, 400.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.143
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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