A rare Jizhou 'leaf' bowl, Southern Song dynasty, 12th-13th century

A rare Jizhou 'leaf' bowl, Southern Song dynasty, 12th-13th century (2)

Lot 1280. A rare Jizhou 'leaf' bowl, Southern Song dynasty, 12th-13th century; 5 7/8 in. (15cm.) diamEstimate USD 5,000 - USD 7,000Price realised USD 23,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013

The bowl is of flared, conical form, and the interior bears the imprint of a large leaf fired to a yellowish-buff and pale brown color, in contrast to the matte glaze of dark brown color which covers the interior and exterior where it ends in a line above the foot to expose the off-white ware, box.

Provenance: Sotheby's New York, 3 June 1987, lot 194.
Dr. and Mrs. Marvin L. Gordon Collection, San Francisco.

Note: First appearing in the Southern Song dynasty, muye wenyang wan or shuye tuyang wan ('tree-leaf-pattern bowls') are the most famous products of the Jizhou kilns and among the most celebrated of all ceramics made for tea use. Such designs were created by affixing a leaf to the interior of a bowl and then immersing the bowl in the dark brown glaze slurry. When fired in the kiln, chemical reactions robbed the leaf of its dark brown color rendering it transparent. The end result was a ghostly impression of the leaf structure, typically golden amber or pale yellow in color. For further discussion of the processes involved in producing leaf decoration and for two examples of bowls decorated in this manner, the first from the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago and the second from the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, see R. Mowry, Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers: Chinese Brown and Black-Glazed Ceramics, 400-1400, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1996, pp. 259-62, nos. 107 and 108.

A bowl of this type from the Ataka Collection, of similar size and form, classified as Important Cultural Property, is in The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, and illustrated by G. Hasebe, Ceramic Art of the World, Sung Dynasty, Tokyo, 1977, vol. 12, pp. 109-10, figs. 107-8. Another comparable bowl is illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, 1980, vol. 1, no. 94.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of ArtNew York, 19 - 20 September 2013