On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
The rise in production of small bowls in the Song dynasty reflects the increased popularity of tea and wine drinking among many levels of society. The emperor might invite Confucian scholars to banquets for poetry writing or drinking contests fueled by the potency of these beverages. Each cup of tea was prepared individually: a spoonful of powdered tea was placed in the bowl and then whipped with a bamboo whisk. The resulting thick green tea with white froth would have made a dramatic contrast to the dark lush “hare’s fur” glaze used on this example. Jian-ware tea bowls were treasured in Japan and sometimes used in tea ceremonies; their repairs were typically made using gold lacquer, as on this bowl.
Stoneware, Jian ware from Fujian
Bowl, 960-1279. Stoneware, Jian ware from Fujian, 2 3/4 x 4 3/4 in. (7 x 12 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 47.219.53. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 47.219.53_side_bw.jpg)
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