Bowl with Molded Design

Bowl with Molded Design Northern Song dynasty

Bowl with Molded Design

Northern Song dynasty (960-1127 C.E.)
Yaozhou ware (stoneware with dark olive-green glaze)
3.25 x 8 inches diam.
Yaozhou ware, also known as northern celadon, was produced at the Yaozhou kilns in the city of Tongchuan in Shaanxi province. The name "celadon" is a later attribution from the period when this type of ware became well known in Europe. The name comes from a character in a pastoral play, L'Astrée, produced in Paris in 1610. The character, Céladon, was a shepherd who wore a tunic colored much like yaozhou ware.

Yaozhou ware comes in many vessel types, decorated in a variety of techniques such as carving, incising, and molding. The bowl seen here is an example of a molded design. Its exterior and interior decoration refers to the lotus. The bowl itself creates a stylized lotus leaf, while the interior is a maze of blooms, stems, and buds. The combination of these elements indicates "complete union." This bowl may have been presented as a wedding gift.

Eberhard, pp. 168-169
Rawson, p. 368
Sullivan, pp. 154-155, 186-193

--K. Johnson Bowles, 2006, Reflecting Centuries of Beauty: The Rowe Collection of Chinese Art