A russet-spotted black-glazed lotus-bud shaped jar

金至元  十三至十四世紀早期   黑釉醬彩雞心罐

The jar is of stoutly potted lotus bud form, with rounded sides curving in to a wide mouth. The sides are decorated with a sophisticated glazing technique by which a lustrous black glaze is applied over a russet-brown slip, causing speckles and streaks to come through in the firing. Also, before firing, five large russet spots of approximately circular shape have been dabbed onto the surface around the sides, and these have combined with the streaked effect to give an overall harmonious appearance. The glaze falls short of the base, showing the unglazed speckled grey ware with low, broad knife-cut footrim. 

Priestley & Ferraro, 'Chinese and Korean Ceramics and Works of Art', November 2018, no. 13

Jars of this shape are generally known in Chinese as jixin guan (雞心罐), 
literally “chicken-heart jars”. The form was a popular one for showing off different kinds of dark glazes, like “oil-spot” glazes and “tea-dust” glazes. For an example of one such “tea-dust” glazed jar, see Lisa Rotondo-McCord, Heaven and Earth Seen Within, Song Ceramics from the Robert Barron Collection, no. 36, p. 102. For another example of a jar of this type but with a speckled glaze, dated to the Yuan dynasty, see the Shenzhen Museum exhibition catalogue Xuan Se Zhi Mei, “The Beauty of Black”, no. 077, p.110, where the authors also illustrate, p.189, a mural painting from Hongyucun, Xing county, Shanxi, showing a servant at a table set with various ceramics including a pale-glazed covered lotus-bud jar. The mural is dated to the second year of the Zhida reign period of the Yuan dynasty, corresponding to 1309. 

Dimensions: Diameter: 10.2 cm, 4 inches

Date: Jin or Yuan dynasty, 13th or early 14th century

Stock No. 2217

Price: On Request