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In the  photo below, taken at 10X and 30X magnifications, we are looking at the foot rim of the authentic Song Dynasty Hare's Fur bowl. 


What you will see in these photos is portion of glaze on the foot rim that did not come as a 'break-off' of a drip when the bowl was removed from the original sagger, or from a firing shelf. This glaze portion came as a result of the bowl being fired inside a used sagger (which had some older glaze still inside) or from a remaining bit of old glaze on a kiln shelf. When fired this bowl picked up the old glaze as it re-melted and subsequently got mixed in with the highly tempered original stone ware of the period.


As this glazed portion shows very little wear it is an indication that either the bowl was discarded as a misfire (see slight original misfire crack on the lip of the bowl) or it was used very little before cache burial. It could be either way as not all used Song Period ware was discarded with such a small crack misfire.


This, along with the coloring inside the bowl running from a yellowish directly into a blueish coloring in the Hare's Fur effect would also lead me to believe it was a later manufacture when further experimentation with the glazes was occurring (with the bluish portion most likely having some copper alloys in the mostly iron oxide glaze). Rough estimation of production would be early, to mid, 13th century.


What we see now in the photos below  is where the authentic bowl was re-coated on the outside after it was removed and originally cleaned of deposits from burial.


These are often (what we would call out here in the Southwest, USA) caliche deposits and are found on almost all burial items of Native American and  South American, Pre-Colmubian, funeral pottery. Once the Chinese clean something they often try to make it look old again using various techniques (this happens on jades, bronzes, potteries, etc.).


With this bowl they most likely used a an egg white glue mixed with iron rust. This type of glue has been used for over two thousand years in China and as a protein based glue is very resistant to chemical removal. I removed most of the coating after unsuccessful attempts at removal using acetone, oxalic acid, and liquid bleach. Having had experience with this material before i found it is best to just scrape it off with the knife. Upon first microscopic viewing of this bowl I could see the original wear scratches and iridescence went under the glued on substance and what you see above is the remainder on the underside of the bowl where is fastened into the rough stone wear. I also left minor traces on the side of the bowl for comparison.



In the below two photographs we are looking at a portion of outside of the authentic bowl under 10X and 30X magnification. You will notice the natural oxidation, iridescence that one will find on an authentic burial artifact (they can reproduce this effect now, but it fades rather quickly and covers an entire piece if done properly). This iridescence shows on portions of the bowl only and is completely in accordance to what what finds on authentic Song wares. You will also see the newer chip in the glaze (especially in photograph two at 30X) and the older wear scratches of which we go into in more depth. The over-all condition of the glaze on this bowl is pristine for its age - what I have done here is try to show the most obvious of the wear and iridescence. You can also notice a small hairline pressure crack the outside of the glaze in the two photos above.


In the  two photos below  at 10X and 30X you will another area on the outside drip portion (which often receives the most wear because it sits up highest and gets more damaged because of this). In the 10X photo above you will see a portion of the glue and iron still attached to the stone ware portion and just over the edge of where the stone ware meets the bottom drip area of the glaze on the outside. In this first photo you will see different age scratches, as some are more worn than others (we will go into greater detail on this in coming photos. In the second area I am focusing more on a later chip out area which shows the difference in newer and older scratches. it is like newer broken glass and old broken glass that one would find beside a road - the newer glass will be sharp edged and the older glass will be worn and rounded from movements of a tectonic nature. Slight scratching can also be worn smooth through consistent cleaning and the association with cloth rubbing over the rough and more jagged scratches.



In these two photos below at 10X and 30X we are showing a minor area in which we find an piece of quartz temper in the original stone ware. The glaze that once covered this piece of quartz temper has been chipped off from either use wear or damage from burial conditions. There are other quartz temper areas showing on the bowl which are still to be seen inside their original glaze. I chose this one because of the surrounding scratch wear (best seen in the 10X photo), and the fact that it looks older and with original older wear.



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