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Jizhou Ware Tea Bowl with Leaf Design (吉州窯黑釉葉紋碗)

Southern Song Dynasty, 1127–1279

Diameter of mouth: 14.7 cm, weight: 182 g

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, Japan

       Tea bowls of the Jizhou kilns in Jiangxi province are known for its fine, white clay body which enables the ware to have a thin body and a small foot ring. The leaf design imprinted in the interior during firing clearly shows the veins, making this piece the masterwork among those with similar decoration. It is thought that a mulberry leaf, which was used for this decoration, was believed to be associated with the idea of Chan (Zen). The opposite side of the interior wall reveals a faint trace of an applied decoration of a plum blossom. The mouth rim is bound with a gold band. It was formerly owned by the Maeda family for many generations.