Wares of this type were first developed in the Tang dynasty (618-907) and are believed to have been inspired by Western marbled glass traded along the Silk Route, which began circulating in China from the Eastern Han period (25-220 AD). A marbled glass bottle made along the Mediterranean coast, recovered from an Eastern Han tomb in Luoyang, now in the Luoyang Museum, was included in the exhibition China. Dawn of a Golden Age, 200-750 AD, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2002, cat. no. 13. The technique continued to be used in the Song period, and fragments of marbled wares have been recovered at kilns in Henan province, including the Xiwangfeng and Encun kilns in Jiaozuo county, and the Dangyangyu kilns in Xiuwu county.
Vases made with this technique are rare, and even rarer are those of this form and of such large size, although a meiping, whose size is unpublished, modelled with a short neck and galleried rim and attributed to the Jin dynasty (1115-1234), in the Jinci Museum, Taiyuan, is illustrated in Liu Tao, Dated Ceramics of the Song, Liao and Jin Periods, Beijing, 2004, pl. 3-30. Marbled vases of much smaller size include a hu-shaped vase attributed to the Southern Song period (1127-1279), included in Illustrated Catalogue Series. Chinese Ceramics from the Museum Yamato Bunkakan Collection, Nara, 1977, vol. 7, pl. 79; and a pear-shaped vase, attributed to the Yuan dynasty, sold in these rooms, 16th May 2007, lot 9.
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