Tea bowl, China

Tea bowl, China

Tea bowl
China, Jizhou kilns
Southern Song dynasty, 1200-1300
Glazed stoneware, with resist decoration
Museum no. C.30-1935
Purchased from the Eumorphopoulos Collection with the assistance of The Art Fund, the Vallentin Bequest, Sir Percival David and the Universities' China Committee

In China, powdered tea replaced leaf tea after 900. The leaf tea looked elegant in green bowls, but the green powdered tea looked more appealing against a dark glaze.

Potters manipulated the firing and cooling processes to create dramatic glaze effects, including this 'hare's fur' type. Here paper cut-outs of phoenixes were applied to the first, darker layer of glaze. They burned off in the firing, leaving their outlines.