This bowl has for many years formed part of an extensive private collection of Chinese ceramics, and it would appear that a Eumorfopoulos label from a Ru-type box and cover has at some stage been erroneously stuck on to this bowl. However, the present example has been carefully compared to the bowl in the Eumorfopoulos Collection catalogue, and is definitely that listed as C7.
Bulb or 'narcissus' bowls were made at the Junzhou factories for the Song court. The base of these Imperial Jun wares were typically covered in a wash of olive-brown glaze and were almost always incised with a numeral ranging from 1 - 10, which are thought to refer to their size: the larger the number, the smaller the size of the vessel. It is interesting to note, however, that far fewer of the smaller vessels, i.e. those with higher numbers, are known to exist.
Several junyao bulb bowls of this size and shape have been published: the examples in the Avery Brundage Collection in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and The Tokyo National Museum are illustrated by M. Tregear, op.cit., 1982, pls. 147 and 171 respectively. Three similar bowls are in London collections: one in the Percival David Foundation, London, is illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, Kodansha Series, 1982, vol.6, no.51; a second is illustrated by John Ayers, Far Eastern Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1980, no.103; and the third is in the British Museum, illustrated by R. L. Hobson, Handbook of the Pottery and Porcelain of the Far East, London, 1948, pl.VIII, fig.41. Several similar examples from the Palace Museum, Beijing, are illustrated, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1996, vol. 32, colour pls. 24-28; and others from the National Palace Museum, Taibei are included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Sung Dynasty Porcelain, 1973, pls.64-67. Fragments of several bowls of this form from the Jun ware kiln sites at Baguadong, Yuxian, Henan, with different numerals incised on the base, were included in the O.C.S. Exhibition, Kiln Sites of Ancient China, 1980, Catalogue nos.394-397.
A particularly fine example of this type is in the Robert Chang Collection and was exhibited in Christie's London, 2 - 14 June 1993, Catalogue no.6. Two other bowls, from the Samuel T. Peters Collection, nos. 214 and 823, were sold in our New York Rooms, 23 June 1982, lots 47 and 48; and another was sold in the same Rooms, 2 December 1985, lot 199.