Bottle

Accession Number
1990/1.263

Title
Bottle

Artist(s)
Chinese

Artist Nationality
Chinese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1115-1368

Medium & Support
stoneware with glaze and iron oxide

Dimensions
12 1/4 in x 11 1/2 in x 11 1/2 in (31.12 cm x 29.21 cm x 29.21 cm);12 1/4 in x 11 1/2 in x 11 1/2 in (31.12 cm x 29.21 cm x 29.21 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund

Label copy
Cizhou wares were produced for everyday use, their robust forms decorated with bold designs, as seem in the freely painted plant forms which veer between representation and abstraction on the upper section of this sturdy globular wine bottle. To achieve the striking dark-on-dark decoration, the clay body was first covered with a dark iron glaze. The floral design was then painted using a brush loaded with iron-rich slip (liquid clay). During firing in an oxidizing atmosphere, the additional iron in the slip could not be absorb into the glaze and instead crystallized on the surface, resulting in the painted design of deep russet red against the dense black ground.
(Label for UMMA Chinese Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
Bottles of this form and decoration style were primarily produced by Northern cizhou kilns during the Jin dynasty (​1115-1234).

Cizhou (磁州) wares were produced for everyday use.  Their robust forms were decorated with bold designs, as seen in the freely painted plant forms which veer between representation and abstraction on the upper section of this sturdy globular wine bottle. To achieve the striking dark-on-dark decoration, the clay body was first covered with a dark iron glaze. The floral design was then painted using a brush loaded with iron-rich slip (liquid clay). During firing in an oxidizing atmosphere, the additional iron in the slip could not be absorb into the glaze and instead crystallized on the surface, resulting in the painted design of deep russet red against the dense black ground.

Cizhou  ware has well known since the Song dynasty with production lasting through the Qing, but it reached its zenith during the Jin and Yuan dynasties, where the forms were especially grand and decoration finely executed.  The ware is characterized by its high contrast dark brown to black and white wares, although over a dozen types of decoration can be used.  These techniques include painting, sgraffito, incision, overglaze, underglaze, along with the application of multi-colored glazes.  The variety of sub-styles is a result from being produced at a variety of Northern kilns in Hebei, Henan, Shandong, and Shanxi.  

Physical Description
A bottle with wide shoulders tapering to a narrow foot and a narrow, short, double ring neck and mouth.  It is covered in a dark brown-black glaze, with freely painted, russet colored floral decoration around the shoulder.  

Primary Object Classification
Ceramic

Primary Object Type
bottle

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
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Keywords
Cizhou
bottles
ceramic (material)
floral patterns
flower (motif)
jars
stoneware (pottery)
wine bottles

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ FFW, Mezzanine ➜ M06 (Shirley Chang Gallery of Chinese Art)