Sky-blue Glazed Ru Ware Zun Vessel with Bowstring Patterns - View 1

The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum
Beijing, China

This zun vessel has upright sides and a flat bottom, and the diameters of the mouth and the bottom are of similar size. Referred to as a raised bowstring pattern, lines decorate the top, middle, and bottom of the vessel. The vessel is supported by three feet at the bottom. The bottom exterior reveals five spur-marks. (Spurs were part of the equipment used to support ceramics during firing.) The vessel has a delicate sky-blue glaze both inside and out. Tiny cracks found over its fine smooth surface are considered a valued characteristic.
With a standard shape and realistic ancient style, this piece is an imitation of a copper zun vessel from the ancient Han dynasty. The glaze color is bright and tidy with natural shading. Only two sky-blue bowstring-patterned zun vessels produced by the Ru Kiln that are datable to the Song dynasty survive to the modern era. This piece is one and is in the possession of the Palace Museum; the other is in the collection of the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art in London.

full view of the item


  • Title: Sky-blue Glazed Ru Ware Zun Vessel with Bowstring Patterns - View 1
  • Physical Dimensions: height: 12.9 cm, mouth diameter: 18 cm, bottom diameter: 17.8 cm
  • Provenance: Qing imperial collection
  • Type: ceramics
  • Dynasty: Song dynasty (960-1279)

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