Diameter: 5 1/4 inches, 13.3 cm

Height: 3 inches, 7.6cm


Yaozhou stoneware bowl with lotus-petal design

China, Northern Song dynasty, 960 - 1126

A stoneware deep bowl, supported on a short, straight foot, the thinly potted, rounded sides terminating in a slightly everted rim. The exterior of the bowl is carved with three tiers of overlapping, sharply pointed lotus leaves. The bowl is completely covered in a translucent olive-green glaze, which pools to a slightly darker tint in the recesses.  The base and footrim are covered in a thinner glaze, which is burnt to a pale brown tone.

The kilns that produced the striking and sophisticated yaozhou wares were mostly situated around Huangbao and Chenlu in present-day Tongquan county, Shaanxi province in northern China.  The subtle design of lotus petals on the exterior of this bowl was carefully carved into the clay before firing; a different and more time-consuming technique than the moulding generally used on longquan lotus bowls. A Yaozhou bowl with a similar lotus-petal design is in the Qing Court collection at the Palace Museum in Beijing.1  Another example from the Seligman bequest is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.2

Ben Janssens Oriental Art, February 2008
Private Collection, UK

1    Palace Museum, Beijing Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum Vol. 32, Hong Kong, 1996, no. 111, p. 125
2    Kerr, R. Song Dynasty Ceramics, Victoria and Albert Museum Far Eastern Series, London 2004, nos. 58 and 58a (left), p. 61