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Bowl

Accession Number
1973/2.14

Title
Bowl

Artist(s)
Chinese

Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
11th century - early 12th century

Medium & Support
porcelain with glaze

Dimensions
2 3/16 in x 5 1/4 in x 5 1/4 in (5.6 cm x 13.4 cm x 13.4 cm);2 1/16 in x 5 1/4 in x 5 1/4 in (5.2 cm x 13.3 cm x 13.3 cm);3 9/16 in x 6 5/16 in x 6 5/16 in (9 cm x 16 cm x 16 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Caroline I. Plumer for the James Marshall Plumer Collection

Label copy
From the eighth century on, tea drinking was firmly established as an important Chinese social custom. The tea was taken in the form of a powder that was whisked into a frothy brew with hot water in elegant conical ceramic bowl. Initially, white wares from Yue, Xing, and Ding kilns were favored. but later black tea bowls from Jian, Cizhou, Jizhou, and Ding kilns became the color of choice.
Song society, lead by cultured emperors like Huizong (r. 1101-26) and Gaozong (r.1127-63), did not seek power and empire like the previous dynasty of Tang, but instead sought learning and contemplation surrounded by refined and elegant daily objects. The pottery industry responded by producing immaculate white wares that could replace silver as luxury tableware. By the eleventh century, Ding had become firmly established as the great white ware of the north, just as the great white ware of the south, qingbai (“clear-white”) ware was getting started at the kilns of Jingdezhen in Jiangsu province. Chinese connoisseurs of the time praised the color and feel of qingbai tea bowls as being like “icy jade” and the ware went on to make Jingdezhen the porcelain capital of the world from the tenth to fourteenth centuries.
(Label for UMMA Chinese Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
This is a Qingbai 青白 (literally “bluish white”) teabowl of the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127).
From the eighth century on, tea drinking was firmly established as an important Chinese social custom. The tea was taken in the form of a powder that was whisked into a frothy brew with hot water in elegant conical ceramic bowls. Initially, white wares from Yue, Xing, and Ding kilns were favored, but later black tea bowls from Jian became the color of choice.

Qingbai wares, which consisted primarily of tea bowls, were produced in southern China during the Song dynasty (960-1279)  at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi in imitation of northern Ding porcelains. A reduction atmosphere in the Jingdezhen kilns and a high kaolin and low iron content  in the clay result in the pale blue cast to Qingbai wares.

Song society, lead by cultured emperors like Huizong (r. 1101-26) and Gaozong (r.1127-63), did not seek power and empire like the previous Tang dynasty, but instead sought learning and contemplation surrounded by refined and elegant daily objects. The pottery industry responded by producing immaculate white wares that could replace silver as luxury tableware. By the eleventh century, Ding had become firmly established as the great white ware of the north, just as the great white ware of the south, qingbai ware was started being produced at the kilns of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province. Chinese connoisseurs of the time praised the color and feel of qingbai tea bowls as being like “icy jade” and the ware went on to make Jingdezhen the porcelain capital of the world from the tenth to fourteenth centuries.

Physical Description
This thin porcelain conical bowl has a direct slightly everted rim on a footring. Its interior has a lightly incised floral meander decoration,and it is covered in a white glaze with bluish tinge.

Primary Object Classification
Ceramic

Primary Object Type
bowl

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Qingbai
bowls (vessels)
ceramics (object genre)
flower (motif)
porcelain (material)
porcelain (visual works)

& Author Notes

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