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Red earthenware bowl


Height: 9.500 cm (with rim)
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 slip and inlaid with glass paste. The glass has degraded and very little remains.

    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)


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