VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Tea bowl
38.347
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Burrell’s collection of Song Dynasty ceramics ranges from rare items to interesting study pieces. This object has sides that curve just sufficiently to prevent it being described as conical, and a slightly everted rim. The inside of the bowl has been splashed with a slip even more highly charged with iron oxide than the black base slip and glaze, and this has resulted in matt rust-coloured markings. This glaze is known as the ‘oil spots’ pattern. This ware is associated so much with tea ware of the Zen Buddhist sect that its origin is sometimes obscured.

History of the Object
In the 10th Century, tea drinking became an important custom in Chinese society. Some famous kilns producing high-quality ware used supply the imperial court. The very best bowls were selected as tribute from Fujian to the imperial court during the Northern Song period. These kilns reached the height of their popularity in the Southern Song period and then died away as Ming porcelain came to the fore. Song Dynasty ceramics have been collected in China since the thirteenth century, and are still avidly collected throughout the world today.

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Type
Ceramics 
Materials
Stoneware with splashes of red glaze 
Measurements
H: 4.4cm, D: 12.4cm (mouth) 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Fujian province 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 10th century ~ AD 13th century 
Creation date
10th Century - 13th Century; Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) 
Function
Tea bowl 
Acquisition
The object was sold by Sotheby’s on 1 March 1946, lot 27, to John Sparks; from whom purchased by Sir William Burrell on 4 November 1946 for £15; by whom it was gifted to the Corporation of the City of Glasgow in 1944. 
Copyright
The image of this object belongs to the Burrell Collection. For any enquiry on access to this image, please contact the Photograph Library at: Photolibrary@glasgowlife.org.uk 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
City of Glasgow 
Museum
The Burrell Collection 
Credit line
©Copyright Culture & Sports Glasgow (Museums) 

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