Song dynasty, 11th/12th century

Diameter: 4 1/4 inches, 11 cm

Height: 1 1/2 inches, 3.8 cm


A delicately potted small bowl, the sides rising from a short foot and terminating in a six-lobed, upturned rim. The bowl is covered inside and out is a glossy persimmon glaze of Yaozhou type, leaving just the base and the foot uncovered and showing the fine pale brown stoneware.

The lobed form of this bowl and its glaze colour are both strongly reminiscent of contemporary lacquerware and it is certainly possible that the potters were inspired by this. The kilns that produced these Yaozhou wares were mostly situated around Huangbao and Chenlu in present-day Tongquan county, Shaanxi province in northern China. These kilns produced the familiar green-glazed ‘celadon’ wares in abundance, but the main production was actually brown-glazed wares, of which this beautiful small lobed bowl is a perfect example. The colour is caused by the amount of iron oxide used. A small Yaozhou persimmon-glazed dish from the collection of Mrs Walter Sedgwick with an equally glossy glaze is in the Meyintang collection.[1]

  1. Krahl, R. Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection Volume One, Azimuth Editions, London 1994, fig. 436, p. 242