A Jian russet-streaked 'hare's fur' temmoku bowl, Southern Song dynasty 南宋 建窰兔毫黑釉天目茶盞
150,000 - 200,000 HKD
A Jian russet-streaked 'hare's fur' temmoku bowl,
Southern Song dynasty
Japanese wood box
In good condition, with only slight warping to the rim and expected glaze firing imperfections.
Jian tea bowls were renowned for their unique suitability for tea drinking as the fine foam of the whisked powdered tea contrasted attractively against the dark glaze of the vessel. The thickness of the glaze helped keep the beverage warm and protected the hands of the drinker against scalding. Emperor Huizong (r. 1101-25), well known for his love for tea, stated that the black-glazed tea bowls, especially those decorated with 'hare's fur' like the present example, were the most desirable. Together with whipped tea, Song dynasty 'Jian' tea bowls are believed to have arrived in Japan in the Kamakura period (1185-1333) when Zen Buddhism was introduced, and have since then been greatly treasured.
See similar bowls of this type, including one from the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, included in the Museum's exhibition Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell and Partridge Feathers, Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell and Partridge Feathers, Chinese Brown- and Black-Glazed Ceramics, 400-600, Cambridge, 1995, cat. no. 79; another, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, 1996, no. 204; another bowl with a metal-bound rim in the Kyoto National Museum, Kyoto, illustrated in Chugoku no toji. Temmoku [Chinese ceramics, tenmmoku], Tokyo, 1999, pl. 39; and a fourth in the Meiyintang collection, also with a metal-bound rim, illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, vol. 1, 1994, no. 530.
The characteristic feature of ‘Jian’ tea bowls of the glaze inside having pooled off-centre, which has been remarked by many scholars, has been discussed in an article by Marshall P.S. Wu, who suggests that a deliberately oblique setting of the bowls in the saggar helped to avoid the formation of stalactiform glaze drops that might stick to the saggar (Marshall P.S. Wu, ‘Black-glazed Jian Ware and Tea Drinking in the Song Dynasty’, Orientations, vol. 29, no. 4, April 1998, pp. 22ff, figs 2-5).
賽克勒博物館有例可參，見《Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers. Chinese Brown- and Black-Glazed Ceramics, 400-1400》，哈佛藝術博物館，劍橋，馬薩諸塞州，1996年，圖版79。北京故宮藏例，則見於《故宮博物藏文物珍品全集．兩宋瓷器（下）》，香港，1996年，編號204。京都國立博物館藏釦口盌，見《中国の陶磁．天目》，東京，1999年，圖版39。玫茵堂藏也有一例，也有釦口，載於康蕊君，《玫茵堂中國陶瓷》，倫敦，卷1，1994年，編號530。
多位學者皆曾探討建盞盌心積釉略偏之現象，Marshall P.S. Wu 專文中指出，此應源自於燒造時，建盞以略微傾斜角度置於匣缽內，用以避免流釉沾黏（Marshall P.S. Wu，〈Black-glazed Jian Ware and Tea Drinking in the Song Dynasty〉，《Orientations》，卷29，4號，1998年4月，頁22ff，圖2-5）。