Diameter: 21.300 cm (at
Diameter: 21.300 cm (at mouth)
Bequeathed by Henry J. Oppenheim
Asia OA 1947.7-12.62
Room 33: Asia
Porcelain Ding ware bowl
From Hebei province, northern
Song dynasty, late 11th - early 12th century AD
Intricate, moulded decoration
This bowl was produced at the Ding kilns in Hebei province, northern China, whose white porcelains were considered one of the 'five great wares' of the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279 AD). The others were called Ru, Jun, Guan and Ge wares. Ding wares were sent to the Imperial court as tribute as early as AD 980.
Ding wares were fired in separate
The decoration on this bowl is a good example of the later, moulded type. Children play among lotus flowers, a common motif in Chinese ceramics, paintings and textiles. The moulds became less crisp with repeated use, but this appears to be one of the first impressions, as the decoration is still very clear.
The metal band around the mouth is made of a copper alloy. Apart from its decorative use, it also smoothed the rough, unglazed rim.
J. Harrison-Hall, 'Ding and other whitewares of northern China' in Pottery in the making: world-8 (London, The British Museum Press, 1997), pp. 182-87
S.J. Vainker, Chinese pottery and porcelain, (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)
J. Rawson (ed.), The British Museum book of Chi (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)