Black Glazed Gold Colored Bowl of The Song Dynasty

Black glazed gold colored bowl is a kind of black glazed porcelain tea service popular in Song Dynasty. It remain in existence is very few. According to statistics, there are no more than 20 black glazed gold colored bowls of Chinese Song Dynasty handed down from ancient times, as far as known all over the world, while Museum of Wuyishan City itself has collected 11. The 11 black glazed gold colored bowls of Song Dynasty collected in Museum of Wuyishan City have sharp edges, oblique are bellies, short ring feet, with swarthy color and slightly tallow bowl mouth. Patterns and characters painted with gold color pigment are remained in the bowls. Though most of these patterns and characters have been chipped off due to long ages, form the remaining trace, people can still imagine the popularity of black glazed gold drawing in those years. In the history of Chinese porcelain, black glazed porcelain has the longest firing history. From Han Dynasty till now, in these over 2000 years, the firing of black glazed porcelain has never been interrupted. Today, the black porcelain bowl and jar used by Chinese people all belong to glazed porcelain. However, the quotidian black glazed porcelain had its particular use in Song Dynasty. The then craftsmen first black glazed porcelain tea bowls in a large scale. Drinking tea with black glazed porcelain tea bowl had become a unique phenomenon of Song Dynasty. It has something to do with the tea-drinking culture of people in Song Dynasty.

What people in Song Dynasty drank was the white tea liquor. Black glazed tea bowl can set off he pattern in white tea liquor more clearly. In the tea-drinking culture of Song Dynasty, there was a game which involved in competition of tea leaves quality and skill of brewing tea liquor, which was called gambling for tea. According to historical data, Zhao Ji, Emperor Huizong of Song Dynasty was a master in gambling for tea. He had once conducted gambling for tea with a monk. When meeting his ministers. Emperor Huizong liked to personally show his excellent tea ceremony for his ministers. In the "Gongi of Xuanhe" written by him, there are some lines describing the scene of gambling for tea in the court of Song Dynasty.

Tea culture of Chinese Song Dynasty has profound influence all over the world. Japanese tea ceremony was just developed from the tea culture of Chinese Song Dynasty. Therefore, the black glazed porcelain tea bowl favored by people in Chinese Song Dynasty was also very popular in Japan, South Korea and other places. In early 1990s, Chinese underwater archaeological team fond a wreck site of Song Dynasty a sea area of Dinghai, Lianjiang County, Fujian, and they salvaged a large number of black glazed porcelains of Song Dynasty. These porcelains salvaged proved that the black glazed porcelains made in Fujian in Chinese Song Dynasty had already become the leading variety of Chinese export porcelains in those years. Black glazed gold colored bowls were also exported overseas in this period. Now, in the museums of both Japan and South Korea, black glazed gold colored bowls of Chinese Song Dynasty are collected. The most famous kiln firing black glazed porcelain tea bowl in Song Dynasty was the Jian Kiln in Fujian. Tuhao, Yaobian and Zheguban are all exquisite products of black glazed porcelain tea bowls fired in Jian Kiln. The so-called Tuhao refers to the rabbit-hair-like pattern generated during the process of accidental coloring. Black glazed gold colored bowl is a little different from the known black glazed porcelain tea bowl firm in Jian Kiln.

Black glazed gold colored bowl is the black glazed porcelain tea bowl painted with golden patterns and characters. Its cultural value is beyond comparison by other porcelains of the same type.

Because few works of black glazed gold colored bowls are handed down from ancient times, its origin and firing ages have been a mystery for a long time. In 1998, Municipal Government of Wuyishan declared to UNESCO for "World Cultural and Natural Heritage List" for Wuyishan Scenic Spot as cultural and natural heritage. The Municipal Government decoded to build a highway leading to the scenic spot. In order to coordinate with highway building, archaeologists excavated the Yulinting Kiln Site of Song Dynasty, where the highway would pass by. To their surprise, this archaeological excavation actually discovered the origin mystery of black glazed gold colored bowl of Song Dynasty.

On the relics of ancient porcelains excavated, traces of gold colored painting can be seen indistinctly. Main contents are flowers and birds, scenery and characters, etc. On one piece of relic, there inscribed with the "Nine-turning Boat Song" written by Zhu Xi. He had lived in north Fujian area, near Wuyishan for more than years.  "Nine-turning Boat Song" was created in late years of Zhu Xi. In 1200 A.D., this master of Neo-Confucianism deceased. Therefore, some scholars put forward that according to the creation year of "Nine-turning Boat Song", the porcelain relic painted with  "Nine-turning Boat Song" proved that the firing time of black glazed golf colored bowl of Song Dynasty is probably the middle period of Southern Song Dynasty. Due to the discovery of large number of porcelains relics of black glazed gold colored bowl of Song Dynasty in Yulinting Kiln Site of Wuyishan, experts determine that this place was the origin of black glazed gold colored bowl of Song Dynasty. However, it is a pity that there no one complete black glazed gold colored bowl of Song Dynasty being excavated in the archaeological excavation of Yulinting Kiln Site of Wuyishan so far.

After that, Museum of Wuyishan City has collected some black glazed gold colored bowls of Song Dynasty in succession. Now, the museum has become the museum which has collected the most black glazed gold colored bowls of Chinese Song Dynasty with the richest patterns in the world.

Black glazed gold colored bowls of Song Dynasty collected in Museum of Wuyihan City are famous all over the world for the profound influence of Chinese tea culture. It combines the art of black glazed porcelain and the long Chinese history.

 

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