Greenware bowl with waves and floral decoration, Yaozhou kilns, 12th century, Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234)
Greenware bowl with waves and floral decoration, Yaozhou kilns, 12th century (1101 - 1200), Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234), stoneware, thrown, with carved and combed decoration under a green glaze; unglazed base; glazed rim, 11.4 cm (height) - 22.3 cm (diameter) - at foot 7 cm (diameter). Lent by the Sir Alan Barlow Collection Trust., LI1301.76, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford © The University of Sussex
A fragmentary bowl of related type, but probably slightly earlier in date, discovered at the Yaozhou kiln site, is published in Songdai Yaozhou yaozhi [Yaozhou kiln sites of the Song dynasty], Beijing, 1998, pl.XXXI, fig.1. A similar bowl from the Rockefeller Collection is inscribed with a date equivalent to 1162.
The large bowl has conical sides with a broad groove below the rim, and a tapering foot with a recessed base. The inside is decorated with a wide band of lotus, carved with a broad tool and depicting two slender flowers and two leaves among combed lines to render curving waves, the centre and a broad band at the rim are undecorated. Outside is a broad cash-diaper border and a highly stylized flower scroll with two blooms flanked by leaves, all quickly carved. The matt, yellowish-olive glaze covers both inside and outside, but leaves a broad ring inside as well as the foot and base free, for firing in a stack. The exposed body has a light grey colour.
Guan ware brush washer, Hangzhou (Guan kiln), 12th century (1101 - 1200), China, Southern Song dynasty (AD 960-1127), stoneware, thrown, with blue crackled glaze; glazed base; glazed rim, 3.4 cm (height) - 11.8 cm (diameter). Lent by the Sir Alan Barlow Collection Trust., LI1301.48, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford © The University of Sussex
When the Song (AD 960–1279) lost the northern part of their empire to the Jin dynasty (1115-1234) and moved the capital south to Hangzhou in 1127, they also lost access to the best ceramic manufactories of the north. Official (guan) kilns were therefore set up in the capital to supply the court. Although they copied the finest wares of the north, notably ‘Ru’, with the southern materials the results were quite different and established a new style. Guan ware became so highly regarded that it has been imitated ever since.
The small piece is finely potted and richly glazed, the everted sides shaped in ten double-lobed foliations, which continue onto the footring, the base is domed on the inside, concave on the underside, where the glaze shows five small dot-shaped spur marks. The piece is otherwise fully covered with a rich bluish-grey glaze of extremely smooth texture, thinning to reveal the dark clay at the rim, and displaying an attractive even dark-stained crackle overall.
Boucheron. Rives du Japon, or Shores of Japan, is a tribute to the aesthetic of centuries of Japanese painters and poets, in addition to the unique beauty of the Japanese archipelago.
Cette ode aux myriades d’îles et à l’univers marin de l’archipel célèbre également la grandeur artistique et spirituelle des peintres et poètes nippons. Depuis des siècles, ils savent saisir sans pareil l’instant décisif où la beauté captée se fige en une merveilleuse création. Cette collection se réfère également à la beauté sous-marine et aux femmes Ama, ces plongeuses traditionnelles en apnée.
Boucheron Rives du Japon. Ricochet necklace with white gold, sapphires, and diamonds.
Boucheron Rives du Japon. Ricochet necklace.
The necklace represents the concentric waves that appear when a stone is skipped over calm water.
Boucheron Rives du Japon ring in white gold, diamonds, and sapphire.
Boucheron Rives Du Japon. Ricochet Earrings.
Boucheron's archives include several pieces that directly reference Japanese art, including the Pluie (Rain) and Vague (Wave) tiaras, both created in 1920. The Ricochet's Japanese inspiration is much more subtle and intuitive.
Boucheron Rives du Japon ring.
Boucheron Rives du Japon. Rivage Necklace.
The Rivage necklace is a splash of sapphires and diamonds in a design reminiscent of Boucheron’s Vague tiara, circa 1920.
Boucheron Rives du Japon. Oursin Ring in white gold, diamonds, and sapphire.
Greenware bowl with floral decoration, China, Henan province or Shaanxi province, 11th - 12th century
Greenware bowl with floral decoration, China, Henan province or Shaanxi province, 11th - 12th century (1001 - 1200) , Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960 - 1127) - Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234), stoneware, thrown, with incised and press-moulded decoration under a green glaze; glazed base; glazed rim, 7.5 cm (height) - 20 cm (diameter). Lent by the Sir Alan Barlow Collection Trust, LI1301.431, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford © The University of Sussex
Similar to the bowl, [LI1301.288], also in the Barlow Collection, but larger and less fine in quality, this bowl was probably made by one of the kilns copying Yaozhou, in Shaanxi or in the neighboring province of Henan. A similar, but much smaller bowl with a different family name in the centre, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, has been attributed to the Linru kilns of Henan (The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (I), Hong Kong, 1996, no.147).
The bowl has slightly rounded conical sides, the rim is everted with an angle on the outside and curved on the inside, the short tapering foot has a low broad footring. The piece is moulded with a stylized flower scroll with a fully opened bloom in the centre, surrounded by a scroll with three similar blooms between smaller ones seen in profile, among dense overall foliage. The central bloom is inscribed with the chacter yang (a family name). The rim area is left plain, the outside shows simple radiating strokes cut with a knife held at an angle. The pale green glaze leaves only the footring free, where the brown biscuit is revealed. An accidental unglazed patch on the outside has burnt a reddish brown.
White ware measuring jar for rice, 11th - 12th century (1001 - 1200), South China, Song dynasty, AD 976 – AD 984, porcelain, thrown, with combed and applied decoration under a bluish-white glaze (qingbai ware); unglazed base; glazed rim, 7.8 cm (height) - 9.4 cm (diameter). Lent by the Sir Alan Barlow Collection Trust., LI1301.321, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford © The University of Sussex
Although bowls of this shape are usually attributed to the Southern Song (1127–1279) or Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), a similar qingbai example has come to light in a Northern Song (AD 960–1127) tomb in Anhui, whose owner died in AD 1089 and was buried in AD 1092.
The rounded jar is slightly flattened at the base to stand securely, and has a straight neck with outward curved rim. The rounded part is combed from one side to the other across the base with parallel lines, and a row of small bosses is applied between body and neck. The light bluish glaze covers the inside of the piece, the neck and the uppermost part of the body outside, but leaves most of the outside in the pale beige biscuit.
Greenware flower holder, Yaozhou kilns, 11th-12th century (1001 - 1200), China, Northern Song dynasty (AD 960 - 1127), , stoneware, thrown, with incised, pierced, and hand-modelled decoration luted to the flower holder with slip under a green glaze; unglazed base; glazed rim, 8 cm (height) - 15.3 cm (diameter) - at foot 6.7 cm (diameter). Lent by the Sir Alan Barlow Collection Trust., LI1301.82, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford © The University of Sussex
Fragments of similar flower holders have been discovered at the Yaozhou kiln site near Tongchuan in Shaanxi province; see Songdai Yaozhou yaozhi [Yaozhou kiln sites of the Song dynasty], Beijing, 1998, pl.XXXII, fig.3, and p.140, fig.76: 1-3, and pl.LXXXVIII, fig.5, and p.329, fig.166; 5).
The bowl is of deep rounded form, resting on a high flared foot and has an everted slanting rim. A domed openwork support inside is shaped like a small dish, placed upside-down on a raised ridge, its flared rim cut into bracket foliations, its sides and base pierced with circular and gourd-shaped openings. Six bands of clay are attached in an undulating fashion below the rim inside, to create three tubular sockets each. The outside is textured with vertical lines. The piece is covered with a thin olive-green glaze, which leaves the footring exposed in the brown biscuit and has partly fired brown, partly degraded to a whitish layer on the base and foot, where it was thinly and unevenly applied.
Greenware ewer with peony decoration amid waves, Zhejiang province, 11th - 12th century (1001 - 1200)
Greenware ewer with peony decoration amid waves, Zhejiang province, 11th - 12th century (1001 - 1200), China, Northern Song dynasty (AD 960 - 1127), stoneware, thrown, with moulded, incised, and combed decoration under a green glaze; unglazed base; glazed rim, 17 cm (height) - 17.6 cm (diameter) - from handle to spout 18.6 cm (width). Lent by the Sir Alan Barlow Collection Trust., LI1301.69, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford © The University of Sussex
Although superficially very similar to the celadon wares made in north China, the material, carving style and shape of the lugs of this ewer are characteristic of the manufacture of Zhejiang province. During the Northern Song dynasty (AD 960 – 1127), when the capital was situated in north China, the northern kilns was leading in style and were much copied in the south. The southern kilns developed their own style only in the Southern Song period (1127 – 1279), when the capital was relocated to nearby Hangzhou. Ewers of this shape are very rare, but a related fragmentary piece has been recovered from the Dayao kiln site at Longquan.
The piece has a depressed globular body on a low, slightly tapering foot and unevenly shaped concave base. The wide neck is flanked on both sides by lugs in form of moulded peony flowers, attached on the shoulder and linked to the neck by a stud. A curved pointed spout is attached opposite a flat curved handle with a double groove. The sides of the ewer are divided into four panels by serrated vertical ribs, those on each side carved with a peony bloom, and those at front and back with foliate motifs, with a hatched border surrounding the neck. The olive-green glaze fully covers the piece except for the footring and base where the body has fired a purplish red.
Greenware funerary vase with floral decoration, Longquan kilns, 11th century (1001 - 1100), China, Northern Song dynasty (AD 960 - 1127), stoneware, thrown, with combed and incised decoration under a green glaze; unglazed base; unglazed rim, with lid 26 cm (height) - 13 cm (diameter) - at foot 7.8 cm (diameter).Lent by the Sir Alan Barlow Collection Trust., LI1301.258; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford © The University of Sussex
A similar jar lacking its cover has been excavated from a tomb near Longquan city, which is datable to the Yuanfeng period (AD 1078–1085) of the Northern Song dynasty.
The jar is heavily potted, with an ovoid body on a straight, nearly solid foot with low footring, and a tall wide neck with cup-shaped mouth. The domed cover has an everted rim and a hollow pear-shaped knob with wide flange. The cover is decorated with radiating strokes, the body with six vertical panels, each enclosing a quickly sketched foliage motif with combed details. The glaze is of yellowish-brown colour and leaves the underside of the cover, and the rim, base and footring of the jar free. At the base, remains of thick firing supports are adhering to the grey body.
Greenware gu, or ritual wine vessel, with floral decoration, Yue kiln-sites, China, Song dynasty, AD 976 – AD 984
Greenware gu, or ritual wine vessel, with floral decoration, Yue kiln-sites, China, Song dynasty, AD 976 – AD 984, stoneware, thrown, with incised decoration under a green glaze; glazed base with spur marks; glazed rim, 12.7 cm (height) - 6.9 cm (diameter) - at base 5.4 cm (diameter).Lent by the Sir Alan Barlow Collection Trust., LI1301.237, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford © The University of Sussex
The piece is incised on the base in a semi-circle with the inscription taiping xingguo, a reign period of the Song dynasty (AD 960–1279). Several pieces are known with this inscription, but no such piece appears to have been discovered at the Yue kiln sites in Zhejiang province, where this type of ware was made. The engraved designs are unusually weak, yet the piece may be of the period. A fragment of a similar small gu without decoration was excavated at one of the Yue kiln sites.
The slender vase flares towards the rim and the foot, has a raised central band and a low broad footring. The central band is incised with a foliate scroll, flanked by pointed petals above and below and further foliate motifs. The base is incised with the characters taiping xingguo, in a semi-circular line. The translucent pale greenish glaze fully covers the piece, which shows seven uneven patches from spur marks on the footring.
Figure of a young man, China,Tang dynasty, 7th century AD (AD 601 - 700), earthenware, moulded and luted together, and with a transparent glaze, 28.9 x 15.3 x 7.4 cm (height x width x depth). Lent by the Sir Alan Barlow Collection Trust., LI1301.429.1, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford © The University of Sussex
Figure of a young man, China,Tang dynasty, 7th century AD (AD 601 - 700), earthenware, moulded and luted together, and with a transparent glaze, 27.7 x 15.2 x 11.3 cm (height x width x depth). Lent by the Sir Alan Barlow Collection Trust., LI1301.429.2, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford © The University of Sussex
Many foreigners lived and worked in Tang China, particularly in the capital, Chang’an (modern Xi’an in Shaanxi province), but the ethnic background of figures such as the present ones is not easy to establish. A very similar figure, with dark skin, curly hair and similar attire, is depicted in a handscroll of Tribute Bearers in the Nanjing Museum, where it is identified as a man from Langyaxiu A Chinese translation of Langyaxiu, a country in the South China sea in the region of Thailand and Malaysia. The handscroll is a fragmentary copy of the Northern Song dynasty (AD 960–1127), after an original of around AD 539, painted by Xiao Yi, later emperor Yuan of the Liang dynasty (AD 502–557); see (Huaxia zhi lu [A journey into China’s history], Beijing, 1997, vol.II, pls 329–3 centre). Compare also the small figure of a sleeping servant boy in the Barlow collection, which seems to depict a person of a similar ethnic background.
The two figures are modelled from similar moulds, but placed on different pedestals, one circular, the other rectangular. Both are shown with the bodies somewhat contorted, the hips pushed forward, the shoulders back, the head turned to the left, the arms in the air, one hand open, the other tied to a fist. They are identified as foreigners through large round eyes, prominent nose and short, thickly curled hair, and are dressed in a cloth that is draped around the back, twisted between the legs, covering one shoulder like a tunic, and hanging down at the side, leaving bare part of the chest, arms and legs. The figures are made of beige-coloured earthenware and covered overall with a transparent glaze with a strong greenish tinge, with patches of the plinths exposed in the biscuit. The figures would originally have been painted.