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Artwork Details

porcellaneous stoneware with glaze
2 1/2 x 8 5/16 x 8 5/16 in. (6.2 x 21.1 x 21.1 cm);3 15/16 x 10 1/8 x 10 1/8 in. (10 x 25.6 x 25.6 cm)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Paul W. Wang in memory of Professor Shang-Yi Wang

On Display

Not currently on display


From the eighth century on, tea drinking was firmly established as an important Chinese social custom. The tea was taken in the form of a powder that was whisked into a frothy brew with hot water in elegant conical ceramic bowl. Initially, white wares from Yue, Xing, and Ding kilns were favored. but later black tea bowls from Jian, Cizhou, Jizhou, and Ding kilns became the color of choice.
Song society, lead by cultured emperors like Huizong (r. 1101-26) and Gaozong (r.1127-63), did not seek power and empire like the previous dynasty of Tang, but instead sought learning and contemplation surrounded by refined and elegant daily objects. The pottery industry responded by producing immaculate white wares that could replace silver as luxury tableware. By the eleventh century, Ding had become firmly established as the great white ware of the north, just as the great white ware of the south, qingbai (“clear-white”) ware was getting started at the kilns of Jingdezhen in Jiangsu province. Chinese connoisseurs of the time praised the color and feel of qingbai tea bowls as being like “icy jade” and the ware went on to make Jingdezhen the porcelain capital of the world from the tenth to fourteenth centuries.
(Label for UMMA Chinese Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Physical Description:

This very thin porcellaneous stoneware, wide flaring, conical bowl with direct rim is on a straight foot ring. The interior is incised with a pomegranate design and covered in a creamy white glaze. The unglazed rim is finished in a mounted silver band.  

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