Traditionally, scholars of Chinese ceramics consider Ru ware the most valuable type of ceramic. Characterized by a thick and opaque soft blue or grayish blue-green glaze, Ru ware was made in the Song dynasty exclusively for imperial use. Its simple and elegant form and jade-like color and texture reflect the sophisticated artistic taste of the Song scholar-elite, who favored the glaze for its warm and gentle appearance.
This straight-walled cylindrical tripod apparently imitates the shape of the ancient Chinese ritual bronze Zun vessel. The brownish tinge on one side of the vessel is caused by an influx of oxygen in the kiln during the firing process.
Ru ware's rarity and imperial association, as well as its understated design, contribute to its importance. Nearly all known pieces are in Chinese museums. The Art Museum's is one of the very few pieces of Ru ware in the West.