Title:Tea Bowl (yan-kou wan)Artist:Artist UnknownDate:Sung dynastyCreation Place:Asia, ChinaCredit Line:Gift of Ruth and Bruce DaytonAccession Number:2000.209.1
Highly respected items of the court during the reign of Emperor Hui-tsung (r. 1101-1125), Chien ware tea bowls from Kiangsu province came in two sizes; this classic example can be considered the larger variety. Appearing bluish black, a deep brown glaze covers the bowl stopping in a thick welt above the foot. Because the molten glaze crawled downward in firing, the lip is left virtually unglazed. In the upper portions, a dense pattern of russet streaks known as "hare's-fur" extend from the lip toward the vessel floor, both inside and outside the deep bowl. Northern Sung (960-1127) texts suggest that these distinctly glazed bowls were used to prepare the white whipped tea then in vogue.