Bowl with incised decoration, Dongan-type ware

Historical period(s)
Southern Song dynasty, second half of 12th century
Stoneware with celadon glaze
Dongan-type ware
H x Diam: 6.9 × 16.5 cm (2 11/16 × 6 1/2 in)
China, Fujian province
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


China, Dongan-type ware, green glaze, Southern Song dynasty (1127 - 1279), stoneware

Prince of Kaga Collection, Kanazawa, Japan [1]

To 1897
Yamanaka & Company, to 1897 [2]

From 1897 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1897 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]


[1] This is one of ten tea bowls (F1897.81 - F1897.90) acquired as a group from the former collection of the "Prince of Kaga." presumably the last head of the Maeda house, the daimyo family that had served as feudal lords of Kaga Province (now part of Ishikawa prefecture, centering around the castle town of Kanazawa) since the beginning of the 17th century.

[2] See Original Pottery List, L. 686, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[3] See note 2.

[4] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Maeda daimyo of Kaga
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source) 1917 - 1965


Although this bowl and F1897.83 are virtually identical in design, with hastily incised stripes and floral motifs, the pronounced difference in the colors of the glaze indicates a lack of control over the firing process. This bowl also belongs to the group of bowls from the collection of the "Prince of Kaga." Like F1897.83, its was identified by Yamanaka and Company, from whom Freer purchased the pieces in 1897, as being a Juko bowl but as being of Korean manufacture. Because of the lack of accessible information on the formative period of the tea ceremony, the significance of the attribution was not appreciated until 1957, when it was pointed out anew by Japanese ceramic historian Koyama Fujio (1900-1975). Similar bowls have also been excavated from Sarawak and elsewhere, indicating that they were exported from China to various destinations and were probably made expressly for that purpose, with the result that technical refinement of the firing process was minimal.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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