Historical period(s)
Northern Song or Southern Song dynasty, 12th-13th century
Stoneware with iron glaze; metal rim
Jian ware
H x W: 5.1 x 11 cm (2 x 4 5/16 in)
China, Fujian province
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Tea bowl

China, Jian ware, Song dynasty (960 - 1279), stoneware, tea

To 1911
Y. Fujita and Company, Kyoto, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Y. Fujita and Company in 1911 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 2157, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Y. Fujita and Company (C.L. Freer source)


Thick-walled Jian-ware tea bowls covered with a rich, dark glaze inspired widespread appreciation among almost all social groups in China during the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279), including the emperor, scholar-officials, Buddhist monks, and ordinary people. A few Jian-ware tea bowls bear two words written on the base that mean "for presentation to the emperor." The writing of those words on this bowl by a semiliterate potter is unusual because the characters are only partially incised into the clay body and were completed by brushwriting.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum