Height: 9.500 cm (with
Diameter: 13.500 cm (max.)
Bequeathed by Mrs Walter Sedgewick
Asia OA 1968.4-22.18
Room 33: Asia
Red earthenware bowl
Said to have come from Xun county, Henan
province, northern China
Eastern Zhou period, 4th-3rd century BC
Bowl decorated with slip and glass
This earthenware bowl is a bright orange-red in
colour, and rough and grainy in texture. It was decorated with
Glass was very popular in China during the Eastern Zhou period (770-221 BC) due to Western influence, but it is rare to see the material combined with clay.
The bowl was probably intended to copy a vessel made from a more precious material, such as bronze or silver. However, at the same time, the pattern of the decoration is similar to that on ancient Chinese textiles, whose designs have been reconstructed from carving on excavated jade figurines. There is no contradiction here: the transfer of motifs between textiles and bronzes, lacquer and ceramics is a recurrent feature of Chinese art.
S.J. Vainker, Chinese pottery and porcelain, (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)