Quinam Ash Glazed Bowl with Stamped Solar-whorl Design in Underglaze Iron


A bowl fired in Đàng Trong (Cochinchina) under the rule of the Nguyễn lords in the seventeenth century. It has the solar-whorl stamps decoration on the exterior and centre of the interior in underglaze iron and is covered with an ash glaze. The ring pool of glaze along the stacking ring mark has a beautiful olive-green colour, and the blurred stamps create a wabi-sabi taste.

This type was fired in central Vietnam, unlike the Annamese blue and white produced in the north, but it is similar in style to Fujian kilns such as the Anxi kiln. It was imported to Japan via Dutch or Chinese ships between 1660 and 1680, and there are examples excavated from the cities such as Nagasaki, Hakata, Sakai, Osaka and Edo. Therefore, it may have a decoration and shape influence on Imari ware, which actively produced tablewares for domestic demand from the 1680s. An important example which indicates the interaction among Asian ceramics in trade relations.

Although it was born as a mass-produced item, this piece is a remarkably good finish, as can be seen, from it was handed down as tea ware. There are no noticeable defects other than kiln scratches and kiln grits. Also, the shard of the same type appears in the catalogue “Nanban/Shimamono” by Nezu Museum. It fits in a box labelled “Annam Teabowl”.

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