Bottle of Cizhou type

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 5

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At A Glance

  • Period

    12th-mid 14th century
  • Geography

    Cizhou kiln network, Shanxi or Hebei province, China
  • Material

    Stoneware with white slip and iron glaze
  • Dimension

    H x Diam (overall): 28.2 x 16.4 cm (11 1/8 x 6 7/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Wine bottle with a full, pear-shaped body tapering to a long, waisted neck ending in a flared mouth with lipped rim. The vessel sits on a splayed, slightly stepped foot that is unglazed on the bottom except where trimming has left a thin strip of glaze on the underside edge. The dark glaze is a lustrous rich brown suffused with fine speckles. A chip is visible on the foot ring.
    The decoration consists of three registers set between bands of incised bow-string lines. The middle and largest frieze displays boldly drawn curling leaves attached to a meandering stem, a design interspersed with trilobed Sagittarius leaves. The top zone features oval leaves. The bottom register does not use the "cut glaze" technique but rather boasts a simplified decor of incised petal motifs.
  • Provenance

    By 1957 to 1977
    Dugald Malcolm (1917-2000), method of acquisition unknown [1]
    Sale, London, Sotheby's, "The Malcolm Collection Catalogue of Important Chinese Bronzes, Ceramics, and Works of Art," March 29, 1977, lot 143 [2]
    By 1987 to 2001/2002
    The Idemitsu Collection, method of acquisition unknown [3]
    2001/2002 to 2003
    Anthony Carter, Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, purchased from The Idemitsu Collection [4]
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Anthony Carter, Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art [5]
    [1] In 1957 the Malcolm Collection of Chinese objects was on loan to the School of Oriental and African Studies and this object was a part of the collection at that time, as Margaret Medley studied it and published it as part of her 1976 study of Chinese ceramics. See Margaret Medley, "The Chinese Potter: A Practical History of Chinese Ceramics" [book] (Oxford: Phaidon Press, 1976), 135. The text credits Dugald Malcolm as the owner of the object. See also
    Mr. J. D. Pearson and members of library staff, "Report: The Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies" in The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 17, no. 1 (November 1957), 185.
    [2] Sotheby's, "The Malcolm Collection: Catalogue of Important Chinese Bronzes, Ceramics, and Works of Art" [auction catalogue] (London, March 29, 1977), lot 120.
    [3] See Idemitsu Bijutsukan, "Chugoku toji: Idemitsu Bijutsukan zohin zuroku (Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection)" [book] (Tokyo: Idemitsu Bijutsukan, Hatsubai Heibonsha, 1987), no. 523.
    [4] Anthony Carter of Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art reported that he acquired from the Idemitsu Collection in 2001 or 2002. See acquisition consideration, February 3, 2003, copy in object file.
    [5] The Freer Gallery of Art purchased the object in March 2003. See purchase agreement, copy in object file.
    Research updated February 14, 2022
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Chinese Ceramics: 10th–13th Century (November 5, 2011 to December 7, 2015)
    Black and White: Chinese Ceramics from the 10th-14th Centuries (December 18, 2004 to November 7, 2010)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Captain Dugald Malcolm (English, 1917-2000)
    Idemitsu Museum of Arts
    Anthony Carter
  • Origin

    Cizhou kiln network, Shanxi or Hebei province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — funds provided by Charles Lang Freer Endowment and Lois S. Raphling, the Hassan Family Foundation, in memory of Dr. David L. Raphling
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

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