Large Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Glazed Buddhist Jar with Inscription
This large and impressive glazed pottery jar was made during the Song Dynasty (AD 960 - 1279), or possibly the Yuan Dynasty (AD 1279 - 1368). Until recent years, this type of jar was almost unknown in the west with some people initially attributing them to the Liao Dynasty (same general period but in the north of China). These jars are now known to have originated from Yunnan province in the south-west of China.
It is coated in a very attractive green glaze that has been applied on top of a pale slip, to emphasize its colour. In places the glaze has acquired a silvery iridescence due to long burial in damp conditions. Many various moulded Buddhist motifs have been applied to the surfaces of both the cover and jar. Interestingly there are minor loses to a couple of these appliqués on the cover, yet they are glazed, although the area of loss has no slip under the glaze ! This shows us what colour this jar would have been had it not been for the slip, and also tells us these appliqués were damaged during manufacture prior to the slip being applied !
Around the unglazed underside of the cover are traces of an inscription in Sanskrit-type characters written in red pigment most likely relating to Buddhist prayers.
This is a large jar with a height of 37 cm (14.5 inches), diameter 27 cm (10.5 inches). Some repair for such a vessel should realistically be expected. There are minor repairs to the edge of the cover, and a discreet repair to the wall of the jar. Such is the standard of repair to the jar, it is almost impossible to see on the glazed surface and are really only visible when looking inside the jar. Overall, an exceptional example and in very good condition.
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