|Jun Ware Bottle, Song Dynasty, 12th C.|
The Victoria & Albert Museum
This celestite blue bottle is representative of a type of Chinese ceramics known as Jun ware. Overall, Chinese ceramics are typically categorized by the geographical area in which they were made since the kilns of a particular region usually only produced one or two types of ceramics at any given time in history.
Jun ware was a product of the kilns of the Henan province, reaching its apex during the Song dynasty (960-1279). This pottery is identified visually by its coarse stoneware body and its shiny blue glaze. Another identifying characteristic is the presence of a red spot or spots on the vessels, a visual cue evident in this example. This is due to the copper-rich pigment on the ceramic body beneath the glaze.
While some types of Chinese ceramics were made exclusively for the imperial household, Jun ware, conversely, was produced for popular. By the Qing dynasty the status of these ceramics had elevated since the Qianlong emperor (reigned 1736-95) was an admirer of them and used them for decorating his home.