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White Glazed Meiping Vase with Chinese Characters of Four Seasons
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2022.03.17 16:18:22

Measurements: Height 42 cm, Mouth Dia.6.2 cm, Foot Dia. 11.8 cm
Period: Song dynasty (960-1279)
Provenance: Collected

Featuring flat rim, short neck, broad shoulder, foot ring, tapering from the shoulder to foot, it was covered overall by white glaze except for the foot, exposing the unglazed body. The shoulder and the parts above the foot ring were decorated with black foliage, four Chinese characters of four seasons “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter” were carved on the belly part against the wavy background. This Meiping features a tall body   fine and elaborate carvings, is a typical ware of Cizhou kiln. The smooth carvings and skillful craftsmanship imply the flourishing and vigorous vitality.
Firstly emerged in Tang dynasty, prevailed in Song-Liao period, Meiping was a traditional form of the ceramic vase, featuring small mouth, short neck, broad shoulder, tapering lower part, and ring foot; due to the small mouth which were only for inserting prunus sprays, hence the name (prunus pronounced Mei in Chinese). Thanks to its slim body, it was known as “Jing” vase (Jing was a measuring unit of wine in Song dynasty, thus it was named as Jing vase), mostly served as wine container. Being famed for its tall and graceful shape, it was renamed as Meiping after the Ming dynasty. Not only being wine container, but also serving for ornamental purposes, thus both the wine storing capacity and the elegant shape should all be put into consideration in production.