Flower Vase, 12th-13th century, Jin dynasty. Stoneware with black glaze, markings in overglaze iron oxide, 9 3/8 x 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (23.81 x 19.05 x 19.05 cm). Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton, 99.174.1. Minneapolis Institute of Arts © 2014 Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
With its elegant fluid shape, lustrous blue-black glaze, and exceptional russet markings, this is a particularly beautiful vessel. Probably inspired by « hare’s-fur » markings on Jian-ware tea bowls, potters of certain Cizhou kilns in North China had begun by the eleventh century to decorate their black-glazed wares with russet-colored flecks and splashes. Such markings were created by applying an iron-oxide-bearing slip to the vessel surface. Some markings were splashed on the surface and others were created by dipping the vessel in the iron-saturated compound.