Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    Henan (made)

  • Date:

    12th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stoneware, glazed

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sir John Addis

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 145, case 46

This brilliant sky-blue bottle belongs to a type of ceramics known as Jun ware. Chinese ceramics are often categorized by the geographical area in which they were made, as the kilns of a particular region often made only one or two types of ceramics at a given time in history. Jun ware was produced in the kilns of the Henan province and its height of production was during the Song dynasty (960-1279). It can be identified visually by its coarse stoneware body and its shiny blue glaze. This bottle features an additional characteristic in its copper-red spot on one side, the result of the presence of a copper-rich pigment on the ceramic body beneath the glaze.

Some types of Chinese ceramics were made exclusively for the imperial household. Jun wares, however, were mostly made for popular use and were not widely collected before the late Ming dynasty, when they were first mentioned in scholarly writings. By the Qing dynasty their status had elevated, when the Qianlong emperor (reigned 1736-95) was an admirer of them and used them for decorating his domestic spaces.

Physical description

Jun ware bottle, stoneware with blue glaze

Place of Origin

Henan (made)


12th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Stoneware, glazed


Height: 29.5 cm

Descriptive line

Vase, stoneware with blue glaze, Jun ware, China, Northern Song-Jin dynasty, 12th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kerr, Rose. Song Dynasty Ceramics. London: V&A Publications, 2004. p. 32, no. 21.
Liefkes, Reino and Hilary Young (eds.) Masterpieces of World Ceramics in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publishing, 2008, pp. 40-41.

Labels and date

Vase with sky-blue glaze
China, Jun kilns
Northern Song or Jin
dynasty, 1100–1200

Jun wares are one of the Five Great Song Ceramics. Although coarsely potted, they are remarkable for their subtly coloured glazes, which are a great technical feat. Careful control of the cooling process allowed pinhole bubbles to form within the glaze.
These refract the light, enhancing the glaze colour. Here the visual impact is heightened by a single splash of purple.

Glazed stoneware, splashed with copper

Museum no. FE.156-1975
Sir John Addis Gift [September 2009]






Ceramics; Stoneware


East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.