Jar with Rouletted Decoration, 11th-12th century, Song dynasty. Cizhou ware. Stoneware with white slip and brown overslip with carved decoration under clear glaze; 3-7/8 x 4-1/4 x 4-1/4 in. (9.8 x 10.8 x 10.8 cm). Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton, 2001.135.3.Minneapolis Institute of Arts © 2014 Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Over twenty decorative techniques were used at Cizhou and Cizhou type kilns throughout north China. Probably from Pao-feng in Henan province, this jar is ornamented in the scraffito manner with an olive-brown overslip carved through to a white slip with a roulette creating bands of short oblique strokes in close-packed rows all under a clear glaze.
Only a few jars decorated in this unusual manner are recorded. They can all be assigned northern origins and may have come from the same kiln. This small vessel is a testament to the decorative ingenuity of Cizhou potters who, with a palette limited mainly to brown-and-white, created an enormous variety of appealing designs.