Important Cultural PropertyCeladon porcelain flower bowl

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  • Southern-Song Guan Ware
  • 1 piece
  • H9.1 aperture D26.1 bottom D7.1
  • Southern Song period/12-13th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • TG-1234

This bowl has an elegant and artless appearance with a firm curvature on the sides. There are six notches on the rim, together making a round-flower (rinka) shape. The wall is thin, with the notches made from outer side across the rim. There are some spots filled with metal along the rim, apparently made to fix the cracks. The entire rim is covered with a metal strip for protection. The glaze on the bottom of the foot has been removed, showing the dark grey color of the clay.
The glaze is light and clear blue, but because of the dark grey color of the clay underneath, it has a characteristic depth and serenity. The natural beauty of the cracks of glaze, called kannyū, is worthy of special mention. They are nijū (double) kannyū: the narrow, shiny-white kannyū between the thicker black ones. This feature adds a mysterious air to the piece. This is an excellent work of celadon porcelain that came to Japan, which became publicly known when it was presented at the Oyama family's auction held at the Kanazawa Art Society in Shōwa 9 (1934). This bowl has been considered to be one of the best pieces of porcelain ware produced by the Jiaotan (jp. Kōdanka) guan-yao (jp. kan-yō, lit. official kiln), the production site of ceramics and porcelain for the imperial court in the Southern Song period, but it was pointed out later that it could be a production of the Xiuneisi (jp. Shūnaiji) guan-yao, which precedes the Jiaotan one, judging from the characteristics of its shape and structure.