Connoisseurs include Ding wares among the 'five great wares' of Song-dynasty China, along with Ru, Jun, Guan and Ge. They were made at the Ding kilns in Hebei province in northern China, from the eighth century until the thirteenth or fourteenth century. They were popular in the imperial palace in the Northern Song period (AD 960-1126), which was the high point of their production.Ding wares are characterized by a finely potted, lightweight body and a warm, ivory-coloured glaze. The most common shapes are bowls and dishes. Early Ding wares were decorated by incising, but in the late eleventh and early twelfth century, potters began to use moulds, which allowed mass production.This vase is a comparatively rare shape for Ding ware, because it was difficult to make the neck so long and slender. Similarly-shaped vases based on silverware forms were also produced at the Ru and Guan kilns during the Song dynasty (AD 960-1278). Elegance of form and subtlety of glaze were hallmarks of imperial taste at this time.