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Cizhou stoneware tea bowl with ‘hare’s fur’ glaze. China, Northern to Southern Song dynasty, 12th or early 13th century

Diameter: 4 1/2 inches, 11.4 cm. Height: 2 1/8 inches, 5.4 cm. Price on application

03_BuggianoA stoneware bowl, the steeply sloping sides rising from the short, knife-pared foot towards an incurving rim. The exterior and interior of the bowl are covered in several layers of glaze. The top layer has a high gloss and displays a dense pattern of russet ‘hare’s fur’ streaks extending from just below the rim on the inside of the bowl and stopping about half way down on the outside in an uneven line, leaving just the foot unglazed and revealing the densely grained, beige stoneware.

•  Although the shape of this bowl with its black glaze with ‘hare’s fur’ markings closely resembles similar bowls made in the Jian kilns in northern Fujian province (see p. 74), its light-coloured stoneware body identifies this fine tea bowl immediately as a product of a northern Cizhou-type kiln.1 A larger bowl with a similar very glossy glaze is in the Schatzman collection.2 Another comparable bowl with slightly rounder sides is in the collection of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University Art Museums.3

1 Mowry, R.D. Hare’s Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers, Chinese Brown- and Black-Glazed Ceramics, 400-1400, Cambridge, Mass. 1995, p. 157
2 Avril, E. Dark Jewels, Chinese Black and Brown Ceramics from the Schatzman Collection Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002, no 52, p. 62
3 Mowry, R.D. op.cit. no. 49, pp. 156-7

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