Chinese Northern Song Dynasty Qingbai Porcelain Bowl in Kiln Saggar
A rare opportunity to acquire a Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960 - 1127) kiln saggar still containing its Qingbai porcelain dish, excavated from a kiln site in the Jingdezhen area of Jiangxi province. This is one of a variety of different Qingbai porcelain wares in saggars, mostly bowls and dishes of varying sizes and patterns, that we were very lucky to be able to acquire some time ago and now offer for sale.
Northern Song Dynasty Qingbai porcelain was fired individually in saggars (the fireproof clay case) that were stacked on top of each other in the kiln. Firing in kilns was then, of course, not the exact science that it is now, with today's use of electric and gas-fired kilns. If the temperature became too hot the porcelain items could warp and sag, the glaze may run or even a stack of saggars could shift and possibly collapse, resulting in the porcelain items becoming fused to the saggar in which they were being fired.
These items are invaluable for research purposes as they show us how Song Dynasty ceramics were fired, not only simply placing each item in its saggar, but supporting it within the saggar on a variety of pads. Sometimes porcelain with designs hitherto unknown are also seen.
The appeal of such items is not only to the academically minded, but also to anyone who appreciates the artistic and decorative nature of these wonderful items
This particular saggar contains a fine-quality thin-walled porcelain bowl. Looking between the saggar wall and the bowl it can be seen that this bowl stands on quite a high foot. It is coated in a bluish-green Qingbai glaze and decorated with incised floral patterns. Some catastrophe has clearly occurred during firing which has caused the bowl to overheat and to warp, resulting in the glaze around part of its rim coming into contact with the wall of the saggar and fusing the two together.
Note also the build-up of ash glaze to the outer wall of the saggar, such saggars having been used time and time again. Interestingly there is also a fragment of another Qingbai bowl fused to the underside of the saggar, obviously from the saggar below.
Diameter of saggar 15 cm (5.75 inches). Apart from the obvious damage to the bowl and saggar, a section of the bowl has been broken out and neatly re-stuck.
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