Rare Large Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Glazed Buddhist Jar
This very rare pottery jar was made during the Song Dynasty (AD 960 - 1279), or possibly the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1279 - 1368) and has been been excavated from a Buddhist site in Yunnan province.
It is made from a buff-coloured pottery that has been coated in a finely-crackled green glaze. Such glazed Buddhist jars from Yunnan province generally have the glaze applied on top of a pale slip to emphasize the colour. This jar, however, is particularly interesting because the slip has been applied only to part of the decoration of the cover with the result that there appear to be two different colour glazes; this is the only Yunnan jar that we have seen where this effect has been used. The lack of slip has resulted in the green glaze firing to quite a dark colour, and in places more brown than green.
The body of the jar has been decorated with two layers of carved lotus leaves. The decoration to the cover features a five-pointed star. Note the two applied circles of clay; surely the intention was for there to be five such circles, so three have been lost prior to the application of the slip and glaze!
Height 34 cm (13.25 inches). There are various kiln scars, some surface wear and a chip to the edge of the cover. Tapping the jar does suggest a hairline crack to the rim, although we cannot see it; possibly it emanates from the small firing crack to the rim. There is no sign of restoration or repair.
This jar is from our own collection of Buddhist vessels from Yunnan that we have collected over several years and not previously offered for sale.
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