Shipwreck bowl - period?

Started by JjGhandi, Dec 18, 2020, 07:39:18

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May be not. First regarding "Xing-inspired", have you looked at Xing bowls? Xing was a Tang dynasty kiln. What he means with those bowls resembling Xing bowls is probably because of the top rim. But, yours has a completely different rim. Then your bowl is glazed down to the foot.

There were hundreds of kilns at least, that were active in those periods. I do not think it is easy to decide where this is from. Your seller told you it is from a shipwreck? It may just be because of the traces of what seems to be molluscs, but they could be from anywhere, not necessarily a wreck. If you look at shipwreck items they are mostly from the sea, but these could be from any water-logged area, a swamp, river or the great canal. Ceramics used to be transported on waterways, and the great transport canal built in China's past is said to contain sunken ships and boats in large numbers.
My suggestion would be to first identify the molluscs. Even if from the sea, they are usually differing depending on depth, location, etc. Yours has these only at the base, there must be a reason for it. This could mean that only the base was water logged. I also think Song era shipwrecks on the high seas are not that many, or rather their remains are mostly not intact anymore. This again depends on location. Perhaps the bowl is Song, or thereabouts, likely not Yuan or earlier than Song. This depending on the glazing and base shape. As long as there is no decoration to identify them it is difficult to tell where monochromes are from. There are just too many kilns and this is a bowl for the common folks as the impurities in the glaze show. If you had something from the mentioned Xing kiln that would be a different matter.

I would not advise spending too much time in trying to find the origin of this. The quality shows it is not from a mainstream kiln. Perhaps you may encounter a similar one elsewhere some time in the future, then you know.  :)


Hey Peter,

Thanks for the information.
The Xin rim you referred to is the thick rim on top, I assume?
That's indeed so but I think that's only one of the forms they made/copies at Xicun.
Another one would be like this one: high foot, top rim slightly bending outwards with sparse inner decoration and no outer decoration.

You are definitely right on the fact there's only marine growth on the bottom.
Swamps or river bedding is certainly a possibility of origin too I assume.

I know it's wishful thinking being able to pinpoint the origin of a 900 year old ceramic.
Many kilns probably made the same kind of wares and copying eachother.

I'll place it at around 1100-1200 at the moment from Guangdong or Fujian province.
Perhaps it's later even.

Thanks for your insights and help, Peter.
As usual they're always spot on :)

Kind regards,



Hi Peter,

I just received feedback from Koh.
He said the same!

First half of 12th century, Guangdong province, probably Xicun kiln.

Really glad my efforts were worthwile.
I'm feeling really grateful that there is something like the internet and all the people willing to help out a novice collector for free.

I often imagine how hard it would be to collect without internet references.
That's the benefit of being a 25 year old novice collector these days. The counterside are the millions of fakes out there that are getting better and better!

Thanks for all the help, Peter!

Kind regards,