Chinese Northern Song Dynasty Qingbai Porcelain Dish 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 porcelain dish that is coated in a crackled pale green Qingbai glaze. Some catastrophe has clearly occurred during firing which has caused the dish to overheat, to sag and warp, resulting in the glaze around its entire rim coming into contact with the wall of the saggar and fusing the two together. The bulge in the centre of the dish is due to the firing pad still being in place with the overheated dish collapsing over it. Note also the build up of ash glaze to the outer wall of the saggar; such saggars were used time and time again with the ash glaze becoming thicker and thicker with each firing.
Diameter of saggar 14.5 cm (5.75 inches). A very fine example.
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