A YAOZHOU RUSSET-BROWN-GLAZED CUP STAND
A YAOZHOU RUSSET-BROWN-GLAZED CUP STAND

NORTHERN SONG DYNASTY, 11TH-12TH CENTURY

Details
A YAOZHOU RUSSET-BROWN-GLAZED CUP STAND
NORTHERN SONG DYNASTY, 11TH-12TH CENTURY
The cup holder has a rounded shoulder that curves in towards the rim, and sides that taper towards the integral 'saucer' raised on a slightly splayed pedestal foot. The whole is covered inside and out with a somewhat variegated russet-brown glaze that thins on the rims and falls irregularly onto the foot, exposing the fine light grey stoneware.
4 ½ in. (11.6 cm.) diam., Japanese wood box

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Michael Bass
Michael Bass

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Lot Essay

The function of the cup-stand is very similar to that of a saucer. As the steaming cups and bowls of tea have no handles, they are placed on stands when served or passed around, so as not to burn the fingers. In addition, they had a decorative purpose and were used as part of the presentation of the tea ceremony. In the Zu xia lu (Record of Leisurely Enjoyment) the 9th century author Li Kuangyi states that the first bowl stands were made in the Jianzong reign (AD 780-83). However, the earliest bowl stand excavated to date comes from a Jin dynasty tomb in Changsha, Hunan province. Certainly by the Song dynasty bowl stands were very popular in both lacquer and ceramics. The lacquer bowls and bowl stands were very costly, and so ceramics which emulated the color and texture of lacquer were much appreciated. The present bowl stand has the color and glossy texture of brown lacquer.

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