Lot 3305. A Henan Russet-Splashed Black Glazed Conical Tea Bowl, Northern Song Dynasty, 10th-12th Century. H 4.1cm D 12.3cm. Estimate HKD 400,000 - 500,000 (USD 50,981 - 63,727). Sold Price: HKD 684,400 (USD 87,229). © Poly Auction Hong Kong.
The bowl molded in conical form, the flaring sides rising from a slightly splayed foot to an everted rim, covered overall with a lustrous black glaze, thinning at the rim with radiating russet splashes extending downwards, the glaze stopping above the foot to reveal the pale gray stoneware body.
Provenance: 1. Sotheby's London, 20 June 2001, lot. 64
2. The Ten-views Lingbi Rock Retreat Collection, no. EK80.
Note: Fine black-glazed wares was popular during the Song dynasty because of the emergence of tea drinking culture. Tea preparation contests were judged largely by the quality of the froth that they produced on the surface of the tea and how long it lasted. The pale froth could best be seen easily against a black ground, which contributed to the rising prominence of black-glazed bowls during that period.
Compare with a Henan black glazed bowl from Kyoto National Museum, which have a smaller and dispersed russet splash (fig.1); See another two similar examples illustrated in Robert D. Mowry, Hare’s Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers. Chinese Brown-and Black-Glazed Ceramics, 400-1400, Havard University Press, Cambridge, 1995, pl. 45 a,b.
Poly Auction Hong Kong. Immaculately Exquisite - Selected Chinese Ceramics from The Ten-Views Lingbi Rock Retreat Collection, Hong Kong, 7 October 2019