Guan ware long-necked vase with raised bow-string decoration

Historical period(s)
Southern Song dynasty, 12th century
Medium
Stoneware with Guan glaze
Style
Guan ware
Dimensions
H x W: 23.2 x 14.1 cm (9 1/8 x 5 9/16 in)
Geography
China, Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Jiaotanxia kiln
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1911.338
On View Location
Freer Gallery 15: Setting the Bar: Arts of the Song Dynasty
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Vase

Keywords
China, Guan ware, Southern Song dynasty (1127 - 1279), stoneware, vase
Provenance

To 1911
Chin Tung, China, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Chin Tung, China, in 1911 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 2119, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] 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)

Chin Tung (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

When the Song dynasty (960–1279) court was located in north China, blue-green celadons called Ru ware were made exclusively for the palace. Characterized by a smooth glaze, either uncrazed or with faint marks like cracked ice, Ru wares provided a prototype for Guan ware, the official ware of the Southern Song (1127–1279) court, which relocated to modern-day Hangzhou. This mallet-shaped vase represents the finest of southern Guan ware. The shape of the vase resembles a mallet used to pound fibers in making paper. The direction of the crackle, here an intentional design feature, developed along stress lines created when the vessel was shaped.

Published References
  • Helen Nebeker Tomlinson. West Meets East: Charles L. Freer Trailblazing Asian Art Collector. Herndon, VA. Insert p. 17.
  • Basil Gray. Sung Porcelain and Stoneware. London. pl. L.
  • , Kawahara Masahiko, Nakazato Tarouemon XII. Toji taikei [Complete Collection of Far Eastern Ceramics]. 48 vols., Tokyo, 1972-1978. vol. 36.
  • James J. Lally. Collecting Chinese Ceramics in America: Morgan and Freer. vol. 73 London, 2008-2009. Cover, fig. 11.
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 17.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. .
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 126, vol. 1: p. 178.
  • Martin P. Amt, Rob Barnard. In Praise of Feet. vol. 18, no. 2 Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, June 1990. p. 20.
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. pp. 74-75.
  • Thomas Lawton. China's Artistic Legacy. vol. 118, no. 258 London, August 1983. p. 133.
  • Kitty Morgan. How to Buy a Masterpiece: Imperial Modern., November-December 2004. pp. 138-140.
  • Thomas Lawton, Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 219, fig. 150.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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