Another bowl of this type, in the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, was included in the exhibition The Masterpieces of Yaozhou Ware, Osaka Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, 1997, cat. no. 96. See also a kiln waster consisting of a similar bowl with remains of a second, smaller bowl inside it, excavated from the kiln site and illustrated in The Yaozhou Kiln Site of the Song Period, Beijing, 1998, col. pl. 3, fig. 2, together with fragmentary bowls of this form with different incised designs, pls 30 and 31.
The Yaozhou kilns at Huangpu, southwest of Tongchuan city in Shaanxi province, which had gained renown through their pale green vessels with deep, large-scale carving in the Five Dynasties period (907-960), became China’s major suppliers of high-quality celadon wares in the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127). While they turned to producing bowls and dishes with incised or molded designs on a vast scale and repeated many designs identically in large quantities, they also made small numbers of more individually fashioned items. Typically, ‘Yaozhou’ bowls are decorated on the interior only, the design leaving free a plain broad band at the rim. The delicate overall carved motifs give these bowls an exquisite air.
Matching bowls with ewers were popular among the gentry of the Northern Song period and were also made in qingbai. Numerous paintings of the period depict qingbai ewers of this type, being used to serve wine; see for example three ewers and their matching bowls portrayed in the hanging scroll Literary Gathering, attributed to the Huizong emperor (r. 1101-1125), in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in the catalogue to the Museum’s exhibition Precious as the Morning Star, Taipei, 2016, p. 41.
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