A Fine Jianyao 'Hare's-Fur' Glazed Conical Bowl

Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279)

5 inches diam., Japanese black-lacquered wood box


The dark body of the rounded conical bowl very neatly cut an an oblique angle just above the foot and waisted below the very slightly everted rim, the interior with a fine very evenly fired hare's-fur glaze on a deep black ground, the exterior glazed about halfway down the bowl and ending in extremely attractive  beaded drops of black glaze.


The humble appearance of such bowls made them appropriate for use in Buddhist temples, and they were held in great esteem in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The white foaming tea contrasted brilliantly against the dark glaze. Popular in Japan soon after they arrived from China, probably some time during the Kamakura period (1185-1333), the popularity moved beyond the confines of the monastic circles to the court and beyond.

For another very fine example see Sotheby's, Hong Kong, Arcadian Beauty - Exceptional Works from the Song Dynasty, 3 October 2018, lot 3111


Another is illustrated by Robert D. Mowry, Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers, Chinese Brown- and Black-Glazed Ceramics, 400-1400, Harvard University Art Museums, 1996, pp.204-206, No. 76.