The rim on this striking bowl was dressed in white to mimic the metal bands that were often affixed to rims of upper-class wares of the Song dynasty such as Ding ware, although the practice of imitating silver or gold bands on ceramic vessels began at least as early as the Han dynasty.
Dark-glazed bowls of this type, exhibiting a regular patterning of three or five large russet splashes, were popular wares produced at various Cizhou-type kilns in the north in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. A virtually identical bowl in the Hong Kong Museum of Art, formerly in the collection of Eugene Bernat, is illustrated in Emerald-like Blue Hue Rises: Chinese Ceramics Donated by the K. S. Lo Foundation, Hong Kong 1995, pp. 36-7, no. 10. A related bowl dated to the Jin dynasty, but lacking the white rim, is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 12, Tokyo, 1977, no. 39. Another example, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Breece III, and formerly in the Hellner Collection, was sold in these rooms, 18 September 2003, lot 243.