A white stoneware lobed jar

五代或遼   白瓷瓜棱罐

The jar is of compressed globular form supported on a low foot with a broad, shallow footrim. The sides are divided into five generous lobes, opening directly to the wide mouth with outwardly angled mouth-rim. A fine translucent cream-tinted glaze is applied overall, over a white slip, falling short of the foot to reveal the fine white body.

A white-glazed five-lobed jar of similar shape and quality was discovered in the tomb of Yelu Yuzhi, c. 941, illustrated: http://www.minzushi.org/altaic/qidan/11792.html. Yelu Yuzhi was a cousin of the founder of the Liao dynasty, Yelu Abaoji. He, and his wife Chonggun, who died a year later, were buried with an impressive accompaniment of precious artefacts drawn from several cultures apart from their own, notably that of China. So, while we may deduce that the present jar was of a type held in high esteem by the Qidan nobility, we cannot say with certainty where it was made. Judged by quality alone, an attribution to the Xing kilns in Hebei is tempting, but the quality of some of the products of the Liao kilns, particularly white wares, rivalled those of the Chinese kilns at this time.

A similar white-glazed, five-lobed jar is in the Capelo collection, illustrated in Forms of Pleasure. Chinese Ceramics from Burial to Daily Life, no. 28, p. 84.

For a related jar, though with a lower neck, to accept a cover, see Appraisal of Song and Liao Ceramics no. 87, p. 45.

Dimensions: Width: 14.5 cm, 5 ⅝ inches

Date: Five Dynasties period (907-960) or Liao dynasty (907-1125)

Stock No. 1979

Price: On Request