A ying-marked Xingyao ovoid jar

唐 白釉「盈」字款罐

The jar is finely potted with an ovoid body, slightly wider at the shoulders, supporting a short neck with open mouth and rolled rim. A fine white glaze of slightly creamy tone is applied overall, including the interior, leaving only the flat bevelled-edge base unglazed. In the centre of the base is swiftly inscribed the single character “ying”. The ware is white and very fine-grained. 

The Xing kilns were located at Lincheng and Neiqiu in Hebei province 
and the present jar is a fine example of the kind of high-quality white wares the kilns were producing from the Middle to Late Tang period, from the eighth through to the tenth century.

For a larger example of a “ying”-marked jar of comparable shape, now in the Lincheng county cultural repository, see Zhongguo Gu Ci Yao Da Xi Zhongguo Xingyao, “Xing Kiln of China”, no. 102, p. 99. That jars like this were made for imperial use is strongly suggested by the excavation of a ying”-marked Xingyao jar from the site of the Tang dynasty Daming Palace, Xi’an in 1960. The Xi’an jar is particularly interesting in having additionally a “Hanlin” mark on the base. It is illustrated in Zhongguo Chutu Ciqi Quanji. 15 Shaanxi, “The Complete Collection of Ceramic Art Unearthed in China. 15 Shaanxi”, no.73, p.73.

The probable interpretation of the character 盈 ying” inscribed on the base of some Xing wares, is that it is shorthand for the name 大盈庫 “Da Ying Ku” meaning the “Repository of Great Abundance”, the name of the palace storehouse to which jars such as the present one would have been sent as tribute. For a discussion of the significance of the marks on Xing wares, see K.Y. Ng, Like Snow, Like Silver, The Luminous Xing Wares, p.3.

Dimensions: Height: 17.8 cm, 7 inches

Date: Late Tang dynasty (618-906), 9th/10th century

Price: On Request