Jian stoneware bowl with ‘hare’s fur’ glaze
A small stoneware bowl, the steeply sloping sides rising from a short foot and curving inwards slightly at the channelled rim. The bowl is covered in several layers of brown and black glaze. A glossy black glaze covers the interior of the bowl and extends over the rim, stopping in an uneven line just short of the foot, where it shows characteristic teardrops. A dense pattern of russet ‘hare’s fur’ streaks extend from the rim towards the interior and exterior of the bowl. The unglazed part of the bowl shows the dense, fine-grained purple-coloured stoneware body.
This exquisitely potted and glazed bowl is a rare example of jian ware. Due to its small size it was probably used for drinking wine. The shape, dark stoneware body and black glaze with the typical ‘hare’s fur’ markings identify this bowl as a product of the jian kiln in northern Fujian province. A very similar jian stoneware bowl comparable in size, ‘hare’s fur’ glaze and shape is in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing. Two other closely comparable jian bowls similar in size and glaze, dated to the Northern Song dynasty (960 – 1127), are in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Three further comparable small jian bowls of similar size but applied with different glazes, are respectively in the Meiyintang Collection  and the Muwen Tang Collection.
- Kwan, S., Song Ceramics – The Muwen Tang Collection series, Vol. 11, Hong Kong, 2012, p. 494
- Li, Huibing ed., Liang Song Ci Qi, vol.II Gugong bowuyuan cang wenwu zhenpin quaji, Shangwu yinshuguan, Hong Kong, no. 203, p. 221
- Kerr, R., Song Dynasty Ceramics, V&A Publications, London, 2004, nos. 117 & 117a, p. 115
- Krahl, R., Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyingtang Collection, Vol. One, Azimuth Editions, 1994, nos. 527 & 528, p. 284
- Kwan, S., op. cit., no. 214, p. 494