About this artwork
Song dynasty potters achieved unprecedented refinement in iron-rich, chocolate brown stonewares with lustrous dark glazes. This bowl’s “hare’s fur” effect was formed naturally when an iron-rich slip was applied to the rim of the glazed surface. During firing, gravity pulled particles of this slip downward into the bowl, creating feathery streaks.
The much-admired style of this piece originated at kilns in southeastern Fujian province, which specialized almost exclusively in conical tea bowls. These bowls fit perfectly in cupped hands and visually intensified the milky froth of white tea, brewed from young tea leaves that were steamed, baked, press-molded into cakes, reground to a fine powder, and then blended and whipped with boiling water. This type of blackware is popularly designated temmoku, the Japanese name of a mountain in south China and the site of a Buddhist monastery where Japanese monks treasured such bowls for tea-drinking rituals.
- Tea Bowl
- Jian ware; dark-gray stoneware with dark-brown glaze and overglaze “hare’s fur” markings in iron oxide
- H. 7.5 cm (2 15/16 in.); diam. 12.2 cm (4 15/16 in.)
- Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection