White stoneware with ivory-white glaze
Overall: 4.7 x 18.5 cm (1 7/8 x 7 5/16 in.)
Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.186
The bowl’s foot-ring is shaped like a Neolithic bi,璧, a flat jade disc with a central circular hole, which had some ritual function.
An ivory-colored glaze covers this shallow bowl with a solid flat foot ring, revealing an almost pure white body. Bowls of this type and shape were used for drinking tea and were traded as far as Samarra (modern Iraq). Red tea consumed during the Tang dynasty (618–906) was believed to look best in pale green or white-glazed bowls. When white whisked powdered tea was introduced a century later during the Song dynasty (960–1279), tastes and aesthetics for tea ceramics changed and dark-glazed teabowls were preferred.
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