Important Cultural PropertyRed-Brown glazed bowl with butterfly and tree peony motif in gold

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  • Ding Ware
  • Thought to be excavated in Korea
  • 1 piece
  • H3.6 aperture D12.9 base D3.7
  • Northern Song period/11-12 century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • TG-2921

This palm-sized small bowl has thick glaze layers on the very thin white porcelain base, the structure of which is clearly seen in the crack of the rim. Such a sharp and delicate structure is characteristic of Ding ware and this piece is particularly valuable as one of those painted with gold, called "the Ding bowls of gold-flower." Kakiyū (persimmon-glaze) is a kind of tetsuyū (iron-glaze), which has a persimmon-colored film on the surface, developed through chemical changes caused by firing. Tree peony and butterfly motifs painted in gold paint can be seen on the kakiyū surface of this bowl This piece is traditionally attributed as an artifact found in the Koryo Tumulus. Many excellent examples of Ding ware in the Song period were exported to the Korean Peninsula, some of which then came to Japan. They were probably used as luxury gifts among the upper class.