A Rare Ge Ware Writing-brush Bowl, Song Dynasty

3 weeks ago

Lot No. :JG-190426
Centuries of Style:Song dynast (1*) (960–1279).
Feature:A writing-brush bowl, Ge ware (2*) .
Source:Private collection
1* The Song dynasty (960–1279) was an era of Chinese history that is divided into two distinct periods, Northern (960–1127) and Southern (1127–1279). The Song government was the first in world history to issue banknotes or true paper money nationally and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. This dynasty also saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as the first discernment of true north using a compass. Social life during the Song was vibrant. Citizens gathered to view and trade precious artworks, the populace intermingled at public festivals and private clubs, and cities had lively entertainment quarters. The spread of literature and knowledge was enhanced by the rapid expansion of woodblock printing and the 11th-century invention of movable-type printing. Technology, science, philosophy, mathematics, and engineering flourished over the course of the Song. Philosophers such as Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi reinvigorated Confucianism with new commentary, infused with Buddhist ideals, and emphasized a new organization of classic texts that brought out the core doctrine of Neo-Confucianism.
2* Ge ware, or Ko ware, is one of the Five Great Kilns of the Song dynasty recognised. But has remained rather mysterious to modern scholars, with much debate as to which surviving pieces, whether they actually come from the Song, and where they were made. Their distinguishing feature is deliberate crackle, or a network of cracks in the glaze. "Ge", means "older brother" ware, because legend has it that of two brothers working in Longquan, one made the typical celadon style ceramics, but the elder made ge ware, produced in his private kiln. But basically comprises two types—one with a 'warm rice-yellow glaze and two sets of crackles, a more prominent set of darker colour interspersed with a finer set of reddish lines' (called chin-ssu t'ieh-hsien or 'golden floss and iron threads', which can just faintly be detected on this bowl). The other Ge ware is much like Guan ware, with grayish glaze and one set of crackles. While similar to Guan ware, Ge typically has a grayish-blue glaze that is fully opaque with an almost matte finish. Its crackle pattern is exaggerated, often standing out in bold black. Though still shrouded in mystery, many specialists believe that Ge ware did not develop until the very late Southern Song dynasty or even the Yuan dynasty.


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