Yuan Cizhou bowl

I bought this charming dish for a bargain price. It is about 13 cm across and 4 cm high. It is made from a brown/ oatmeal pottery, low fired. Covered in a white glaze and black decor, and a clear glaze on top. On the bottom 5 clay support marks, as well as in the inside. A chip and little frittings on the rim because of the low firing. It is a Yuan dynasty bowl, Cizhou type, Guantai kilns.

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The character painted in the centre is Wang, most likely as being a family name. The three horizontal strokes represent Heaven, Man and Earth. The vertical stroke is the king, the one who connects them together. It has a varity of meanings in different contexts.

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Te bowl possibly originates from one of the six shipwrecks found  in Nanhaihecun, Cixian, in Hebei, which sank in the Yuan period. This type of bowl is very common in the Yuan period. In the 1970s, lots of shards were collected from various sites of Cizhou kilns located in the Zhang river basin, and shards with the character ‘wang’ were found in considerable numbers at the Guantai kiln, Shenjiazhuang kiln, and the Nanlianhua kiln. (thanks to B. Steinbach)

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