While famous for their white wares, the Ting kilns of north China also produced a variety of brown-and black-glazed ceramics during Northern Sung and Chin dynasties. The body of this rare ovoid-shaped vase is a hard, well-refined light-grey clay suggesting a Ting or Ting-type kiln for its origin.
Distinguished by its size, shape, and decoration, the vessel has few recorded counterparts, but its evenly distributed russet markings place it within a broad category of abstract, structured glaze designs emanating from numerous Ting and Tz'u-chou kilns in Hopei, Honan, and Shantung provinces between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The tall, ovoid vase was thrown in two sections and luted together after drying. It was then dipped and dried three times in iron-rich glaze, after which the round iron-oxide markings were applied, probably with a brush. Upon drying, the mouth and shoulder area was dipped a fourth time in an iron-rich glaze and decorated with a series of seven circular russet motifs.