Northern Song – Jin Dynasty
11th – 12th Century
Height: 8 cm
Thermoluminescence Tested, Oxford.
Provenance:Private Chinese Collection
Taiwanese Collector, Hong Kong
Canadian Private Collection
Crimson Red Junyao Cups of this type are extremely rare. Usually this colour appears only as a splash on the pale blue or lavender coloured cups.
The well-potted bud-shaped cup rises from a ring foot to a swelling belly and tapers to a constricted mouth. A translucent crimson red glaze covers the exterior of the cup. the interior and base are glazed in a sky blue shade.. Depending upon the thickness of the glaze, the color varies in tone. A blue tone circles the mouth-rim in parts. The upper half of the cup is richly glazed in a bubble-suffused purplish crimson red glaze, which drips down in several places becoming darker and different shades of deep blood red. Small green splashes are on one side of the vessel, The base is glazed, exposing the foot, burnt a browning colour in the firing.
Waterpots of nearly identical shape, but without splashes are in the Baur Collection (Ayers, vol.I, no. A30); formerly in the Reach Family Collection (Eskenazi, no. 23); and exhibited in the Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Ceramics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Catalogue, p. 25). Another lotus bud-shaped cup, in the Helllner Collection, had purple splashes and a Japanese repair (Oriental Ceramics, vol. 8, no. 151).
Three other examples in the George Eumorfopolous Collection are illustrated by Hobson (catalogue, vol. II, pl. xxvi, no. B88 and B89; and vol. IV, no. C40). Comparable cups with covers are located in the Metroplolitan Museum of Art (Valenstein, Handbook, fig. 79); the British Museum (Gray, Early Chinese Pottery and Porcelain, no. 82B); and City Art Gallery, Bristol (O.C.S., The Art of the Sung Dynasty, no. 48).
A later and more dramatically splashed junyao water cup, was formerly in the collection of Dr. Ip Yee and subsequently of the British Rail Pension Fund (Sotheby’s, London, Dec. 1989, lot 85). Junyao, with its characteristic thick, light blue glaze, was produced from the Northern Song Dynasty into the Yuan and Ming periods. The name of the ware is derived from the kiln site, an area once known as Junzhou, in Henan Province.
Two of the most productive kiln complexes in the area were Linru xian and Yu xian. Valenstein notes that, while the early Jun wares are monochromes, the Late Northern Song products often bear crimson highlights, which result from the addition of copper to the glaze in a reducing atmosphere. Even more dramatic purple or crimson splashed are achieved by the Jin Dynasty (Handbook, p.87).