The glaze on this bowl is a very successful example of the Song dynasty dark brown iron-rich glaze with russet splashes containing an even higher percentage of iron. Such glazes developed from Tang glazes, but the Song potters utilized more refined raw materials and higher firing temperatures to achieve greater contrast and control. See N. Wood, Chinese Glazes - Their Origins, Chemistry and Recreations, London/Philadelphia, 1999, p. 142.
Similar bowls have been unearthed at the Cizhou kiln site of Guantai in a stratum attributed to the mid- to late Northern Song period and are illustrated in Guantai Cizhou Yaozhi, Beijing, 1997, col. pl. XXIX:3, and bpl. LXI:1. Two very similar bowls, one in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University and one in the Scheinman Collection, are illustrated by R. Mowry, Hare's Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 1996, p. 143, nos. 38a & b. Comparable bowls of this type have also sold in these rooms, including examples formerly in the J. Hellner Collection, 20 March 2001, lot 200; the Falk Collection, 20 September 2001, lot 82; and the collection of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Breece III, formerly in the collection of Stephen Junkunc III, 18 September 2003, lot 251.