Flower Vase in the Shape of a [Cong] Ritual Vessel Stoneware with celadon glaze
This celadon flower vase was made in a guan-yao, an official kiln where ceramics and porcelain were produced for the imperial court of the Southern Song dynasty, located in present-day Hangzhou city. The unusual fusion of rectangular shapes on a cylindrical body is modelled on an ancient Chinese jade implement known as a 'cong.' The guan-yao kilns produced many similar ceramic objects shaped like ancient jade artifacts.
The deep color of the thick celadon glaze on dark gray clay makes a striking impression, as do the cracks in the glaze, formed by the different rate of shrinkage between the clay and the glaze.
This work was owned by the Owari Tokugawa clan from the early Edo period to the start of the Showa era and it was used as a flower vase and a water jar.