Bulb bowl with impressed character san (three)

Historical period(s)
Yuan or Ming dynasty, 14th-15th century
Stoneware with Jun glaze and copper pigment
Jun ware
H x Diam: 8.8 × 22.6 cm (3 7/16 × 8 7/8 in)
China, Henan province
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


China, Jun ware, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), stoneware, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)

To 1913
Yamanaka & Company, New York to 1913 [1]

From 1913 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company, New York in 1913 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 2378, Freer Galley 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) and Custodian(s)

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


Potted plants that changed with the seasons filled the interiors of palaces and wealthy homes in China. This sturdy bulb bowl was part of a set acquired for such use. Stamped on its base is the numeral "three," for ease of finding the matching size of saucer. Blue glaze was a perennial favorite on plant containers as it offered an effective way to set off the colors of the foliage and flowers. The lavender-blue glaze of this bowl, called Jun, was invented at kilns in northern China and revived later at southern kilns.

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