Asia Society Home Asia Society Home
< previous  8 of 18  next >
enlarge image map of region
North China; Northern Song period (960-1127), 12th century
Stoneware with sgraffito design in slip under glaze (Cizhou ware, probably from Xiuwu or Cizhou)
H. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm); D. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The powerfully rendered peony flowers and leaves decorating this sturdy Cizhou bottle were produced using the sgrafitto technique, which is one of the most complicated and laborious methods of decoration in ceramic technology. Although Western scholars have generally described vessels in this shape as "vases," they were most likely bottles used for storing and serving wine. In this case, the light gray body of the vessel was first coated with a white mixture of water and clay (known as a slip), which was then covered with a black slip. After the outlines of the design were incised into the black slip, portions of the top layer were shaved away to reveal the white underneath. Finally, when the decoration was complete, the entire body (except for the foot) was coated with a thin, slightly whitish transparent glaze. The shape of this bottle, which is known as a meiping, is one of the most popular forms in the history of Chinese ceramics and was used for centuries.
Home |  South Asia |  Himalaya |  Southeast Asia |  China & Mongolia |  Korea |  Japan
Treasures |  Guided Tour |  Timeline |  Search
About the Asia Society | The Rockefellers and the Asia Society | Site Map
Credits | ©Copyright 2007 Asia Society