Hare's fur bowl

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€ 4800

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Song Dynasty, 960 - 1279
7.1 cm
16.3 cm

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A large Cizhou ware bowl with hare’s fur glaze. The unglazed base shows the buff pottery. The pattern of the thick high-iron glaze resembles oil spots or striped patterns on the fur of a hare, hence the name ‘hare’s fur’. This bowl with its brown and black glaze was used for drinking tea. White tea was dried, ground to a fine powder and whipped in a bowl to produce a frothy white drink that looked better in a dark glazed tea bowl. This kind of bowl is called Tenmoku, a term thought to derive from the Chinese characters for Mt. Tianmu. Japanese monks regularly traveled to China during the Song Dynasty to study Buddhism where they first encountered some of these black glazed tea bowls. By the 13th century, Chinese hare's fur tea bowls became highly prized and large quantities were imported to Japan for use in the tea ceremony.

Cizhou ware is a term for a wide range of Chinese ceramics, from between the late Tang dynasty and the early Ming dynasty. It has been associated with the Northern Song to Yuan period. A very large number of sites in Northern China produced these wares, and their decoration is very variable. The Chizhou wares are stoneware in Western terms. 


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