Chinese Northern Song Dynasty Kiln Saggar - Two Qingbai Porcelain Bowls
A rare opportunity to acquire a Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960 - 1127) kiln saggar, not only still containing a Qingbai porcelain bowl, but with the almost complete remains of another fused to its underside! This was 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 bowl with incised decoration that is coated in a translucent Qingbai glaze of a delicate pale green. The outer wall has a carved decoration although this is difficult to photograph. Qingbai bowls with decoration to both surfaces are extremely rare. The bowl is warped and a section at the rim has been broken out (but thankfully not lost) and re-stuck. However, arguably the most interesting part of this item are the warped remains of the bowl fused to the underside of the saggar, again, a bowl with carved decoration around the outside and incised decoration to the inside.
Diameter of saggar 18.5 cm (7.25 inches).
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