Julu Xian Ewer
On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
According to historical records, the Yellow River flooded the region of Julu county in southern Hebei province on September 10, 1108. Like the ancient city of Pompeii, which was buried in 79 C.E. by ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the Julu marketplace was buried until the 1930s, when farmers discovered it while digging a well. The site was rich in Cizhouware ceramics used as daily vessels by the burgeoning Song merchant class. White Cizhou wares imitated the more luxurious ivory-white Ding ware used by elite Confucian bureaucrats. A distinctive feature of Juluxian ceramics is the pale red-brown crackle covering part of the interior of the neck and exterior of this vessel, evidence of burial in the iron-rich silt from the Yellow River.
Earthenware, white slip and transparent glaze
early 12th century
Gift of the Asian Art Council
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Julu Xian Ewer, early 12th century. Earthenware, white slip and transparent glaze, 10 x 6 3/8 in. (25.4 x 16.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Asian Art Council, 1993.55. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1993.55_SL1.jpg)
overall, 1993.55_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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This exemplary Cizhou ewer, although unsigned, conforms to the Julu Xian type with ovoid horizontally ribbed body, high wide shoulder narrowing to small base; long slender ribbed neck with everted mouth; long slightly curved vertically ribbed spout on the shoulder; grooved strap handle attached to the shoulder and top of the neck opposite the spout; and a flaring foot. It is made of a coarse, pale, gray clay which is coated with white slip to enhance its appearance. A transparent glaze is then applied. The pale brown crackle, covering half of the interior of the neck and the entire exterior of vessel to the unglazed foot, is evidence of water damage from the time of the flood and as such these characteristics exemplify the Northern Song Cizhou white glaze method as seen in Juluxian wares. The present ewer can be traced to the Cizhou kiln of Hebei and dated ca. 1108 or earlier. Julu Xian, located in Hebei Province. In 1108 a flood buried the entire region which remained undiscovered until the 1930s.
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