A large black-glazed 'bowstring' meiping

北宋至金 十一/十二世紀   黑釉弦紋瓶

The vase is of stoutly potted upright olive shape, surmounted by a well- made mouth with low galleried rim. The sides are ringed by transverse ribs extending about two-thirds of the way down the body. A very dark brown glaze is applied overall, lightening very slightly on the tops of the ribs and stopping in an uneven line just above the countersunk foot, with wide unglazed footrim revealing the high-fired greyish-buff ware.
Vases of this distinctive type, usually black, sometimes russet brown, with horizontal ribs or grooves extending most of the height of the vessel, were made over a long period beginning as early as the Liao dynasty and continuing into the early Ming. Early examples, like the present vase, have the same tall ovoid form as early meiping from other kilns, but their line of  development diverges thereafter, becoming very tall and almost cylindrical – the so-called jitui ping“chicken-leg” vases. Some examples have roughly incised inscriptions from which we learn that they were intended for wine. An example of similar proportions to ours, though with a slightly different mouth, exhibited at the International Exhibition of Chinese Art at the Royal Academy of Arts, 1935-6 is now on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, museum number C.812-1936. Another, excavated at a site in Datong in Shanxi province, is illustrated in Xuan Se Zhi Mei, p.217, illus.53 (left). Excavated examples tend to cluster around Shanxi and Hebei, suggesting these two provinces as the most likely places of manufacture.

Dimensions: Height: 46 cm, 18 ⅛ inches

Date: Northern Song to Jin dynasty, 11th/12th century

Stock No. 1894

Price: On Request