Spouted bowl with molded decoration

Spouted bowl; low with flat base.
Clay: white porcelain of “sugary” lightweight type characteristic of Ch’ing-bai wares, glassy in fracture. Surface of unglazed base and rim is light buff from iron oxidization. The same firing effect, but a deeper rusty color, appears where glaze has skipped and shows through where glaze is thin in bottom of cup. Inside the bowl has appearance of having been wiped, either in the wet clay or with slip.
Glaze: Qingbai type: feldspathic; uneven thickness; transparent, but with some opacity due to bubbles and slight scumming; uneven color varying from pale bluish gray to strong aqua greenish-blue and pale blue tint; crackle appears on outside of spout only. Rim of spout is glazed but plain bowl rim and base are unglazed. Glaze has skipped a large area inside spout and in small spots on outside of spout. Some dark inclusions have appearance of iron.
Decoration: six moulded lotus-petal panels under the glaze, two partly obscurred by spout and its application. Apparently the round bowl was moulded first and then the cut made and spout applied. A scroll-form loop was applied beneath the spout.

Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, 1279-1368
Medium
Porcelain with transparent pale blue ("qingbai") glaze
Style
Qingbai ware
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 3.8 x 11 cm (1 1/2 x 4 5/16 in)
Geography
China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1976.6
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Bowl

Keywords
China, porcelain, Qingbai ware, WWII-era provenance, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)
Provenance

From at least 1973
Ken J.J. Baars, Surrey, England [1]

From at least 1974 to 1976
Eskenazi Ltd., London, from at least 1974 [2]

From 1976
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Eskenazi Ltd. in 1976 [3]

Notes:

[1] This object was published as part of Ken J.J. Baars's collection in Adrian M. Joseph, Chinese and Annamese Ceramics found in the Philippines and Indonesia (London: Hugh Moss Publishing Ltd., 1973), pl. 19 (see Curatorial Note 2, J. H. Knapp, 1976, in object record). Coming from the collection of Ken J.J. Baars, this bowl presumably had been in Indonesia, where Baars formed his collection (see Curatorial Note 6, Louise Cort, July 27, 2006, in object record).

[2] According to information in the object file, approval for purchase of this object by the Freer Gallery was granted December 23, 1974; however, the object was not purchased until January 27, 1976. For additional information, see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

[3] See note 2.

Previous Owner(s)

Ken J.J. Baars
Eskenazi Ltd. Founded 1923

Description

Spouted bowl; low with flat base.
Clay: white porcelain of "sugary" lightweight type characteristic of Ch'ing-bai wares, glassy in fracture. Surface of unglazed base and rim is light buff from iron oxidization. The same firing effect, but a deeper rusty color, appears where glaze has skipped and shows through where glaze is thin in bottom of cup. Inside the bowl has appearance of having been wiped, either in the wet clay or with slip.
Glaze: Qingbai type: feldspathic; uneven thickness; transparent, but with some opacity due to bubbles and slight scumming; uneven color varying from pale bluish gray to strong aqua greenish-blue and pale blue tint; crackle appears on outside of spout only. Rim of spout is glazed but plain bowl rim and base are unglazed. Glaze has skipped a large area inside spout and in small spots on outside of spout. Some dark inclusions have appearance of iron.
Decoration: six moulded lotus-petal panels under the glaze, two partly obscurred by spout and its application. Apparently the round bowl was moulded first and then the cut made and spout applied. A scroll-form loop was applied beneath the spout.

Label

The shape of this porcelain bowl made in the Yuan dynasty derives from Islamic metal pouring vessels. Its exterior bears a molded pattern of stylized lotus petals' the loop beneath the spout is decorative and recalls the functional suspencion loop on the metal prototypes. Yuan dynasty China was ruled by Mongols, who had an established trade relationship with Islamic merchants, which they extended into China.  Thus, orders for ceramics modeled after Islamic vessels were placed by foreign merchants who sold them in China and exported quantities of such wares to other parts of Asia.

Published References
  • Adrian M. Joseph. Chinese and Annamese Ceramics found in Philippines and Indonesia. London. pl. 19.
  • Julia Murray. A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980. Exh. cat. Washington, 1979. cat. 21, p. 31.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia
Google Cultural Institute
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