A LARGE STONEWARE CHINESE CIZHOU-TYPE MARTABAN STORAGE JAR
China, Hebei province, Ming dynasty, dated 1596
The vase decorated with foliate motif and characters around the shoulder that are supposed to indicate the place of production, the name of the maker, a date and a suggestion for the storage of wine made of sorghum gruel in manganese brown under a yellowish glaze.
H. 68 x Diam. 42 cm
Martaban or “martavaan” in Dutch, derives from the port of Martaban on the Gulf of Pegu, present-day Myanmar, that was an important link in the China-India ceramic trade during the Song (960-1279) and Ming (1368- 1644) dynasties. Martabans could be produced at kilns in China, Thailand, Vietnam or Burma. They were used as containers for water, oil, wine, pickled vegetables and meat on board ships. Many have been found in shipwrecks. They were also used as ritual jars by Dayaks on Borneo and on Java where they were attributed magical properties and were treated with respect.