Room 1


Case 3

Southern and Northern China 中國南方與中國北方窯


Jian- style brownish-black glazed stoneware 黑釉磁, Jianyang kilns 建陽窯, Fujian Province 福建省, Southern Song dynasty 南宋 (1127-1279).

Song potters discovered that by varying the conditions in which iron oxide was fired they could obtain a variety of natural decorative effects, to which they gave inventive names.

  1. Tea bowl 天目兔毫釉茶碗

    Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279)


    The best-known decoration is undoubtedly the fine iridescent striations called “hare’s-fur” 兔毫釉. These pieces are termed temmoku 天目 in Japan, where they are highly sought after for use in the tea ceremony, as their appearance fits perfectly the wabi-sabi aesthetics associated with that form of tea.
  2. Tea bowl 天目兔毫釉茶碗

    Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279)




    Jizhou 吉州 dark brown glazed stoneware 褐釉磁, Yonghe kilns 永和窯, Ji’an 吉安, Jiangxi Province 江西省, Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279).

    Jizhou potters explored the potential of novel decorative techniques using paper cut patterns or leaves from trees. The paper or leaf would burn away during firing, leaving only its outline on the glaze.
  3. Tea bowl with phoenix design on a tortoiseshell glazed ground 玳瑁釉茶碗

    Southern Song, 12th - 13th c.

  4. Tea bowl with stylised flower motif 梅花紋茶碗

    Southern Song, 12th - 13th c.

  5. Small covered jar with stylised flower motif on a “teadust” glazed ground 茶葉末釉蓋罐

    Southern Song, 12th - 13th c.


    Northern China 中國北方:

    Ivory-glazed porcelain 白磁, Ding kilns 定窯, Hebei Province 河北省, Song 宋代 (960-1279) or Jin dynasty 金代 (1115-1234).

    Ding ware is characterised by an ivory glaze applied over a porcelain body. As kiln technology improved, a closer control of the firing process became possible, thus attaining the higher temperatures required to obtain porcelain. Changing the fuel from wood to coal, rendered necessary by massive deforestation in the north of the country, also played its part in these technical innovations.

  6. Bowl with incised decoration 白磁刻花草紋碗

    Northern Song, 11th - 12th c.


    This extremely elegant shape, typical of the Song, has to be fired upsidedown (fushao 覆燒), in order to prevent any distortions.
  7. Bowl with incised peony decoration 白磁刻花牡丹紋碗

    Northern Song, 11th - 12th c.


    The high-quality ceramics produced by the Ding kilns were reserved exclusively for the emperor’s table and that of his retainers.

  8. Bowl with foliated rim and incised peony decoration 白磁刻花牡丹紋大碗

    Northern Song, 12th c.


    The rims of the pieces had to be encased in a metallic band (gold, copper or silver) as they were unglazed, owing to the upside-down firing process used.


  9. Bowl with moulded decoration and fish design 白磁印花飛鴨與蓮花紋碗

    Song or Jin dynasty, 12th-13th c.



    Northern China 中國北方:

    Ivory glazed porcelain 白磁, probably Liao dynasty 遼代 (907-1125).

    The nomadic tribes on the steppes on the borders of the Song Empire gradually overran the north of the country and founded their own dynasty. Liao ceramics reflect the influence of Chinese ware of both the Tang (618-907) and Northern Song (960-1127) periods.

  10. Covered box with gold lacquer repair work 白磁瓜形盒

    Liao dynasty, 10th-11th c.


    A rare melon-shaped piece. Two birds are moulded on the base.

    Northern China 中國北方:

    Black glazed stoneware 黑釉磁, Henan Province 河南省, Song 宋代 (960-1279) or Jin dynasty 金代 (1115-1234).

    The base of the bowls is in general coated with a brown slip, which imitates the dark colour of the clay used in the southern kilns.
  11. Tea bowl 黑釉褐彩茶碗

    Song or Jin dynasty, 12th-13th c.

  12. Tea bowl with rust markings 黑釉褐彩茶碗

    Song or Jin dynasty, 12th-13th c.


    Buddhist monks would drink tea from these bowls in order not to doze off during the long hours of meditation.

  13. Dish with rust markings 黑釉褐彩盤

    Song or Jin dynasty, 12th-13th c.


  14. Tea bowl with “oil spot” markings 兩只黑釉油滴茶碗

    Song or Jin dynasty, 12th-13th c.


    This glaze differs from the “rust markings” in having a silver sheen.
  15. Tea bowl with “oil spot” markings 兩只黑釉油滴茶碗

    Song or Jin dynasty, 12th-13th c.


    This glaze differs from the “rust markings” in having a silver sheen.


    Northern China 中國北方:

    Cizhou type stoneware 磁州窯, Henan Province 河南省, Jin dynasty 金代 (1115-1234)

  16. Large bowl with rust brown stripes 黑釉褐彩大碗

    Jin dynasty, 12th-13th c.