Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Guan ware brush washer

Glossary (2)

glaze, stoneware

  • glaze

    Vitreous coating applied to the surface of a ceramic to make it impermeable or for decorative effect.

  • stoneware

    Ceramic material made of clay which is fired to a temperature of c.1200-1300⁰c and is often buff or grey in colour.


    • Second floor | Room 38 | China from 800

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

  • The Barlow Collection by the University of Sussex

    The Barlow Collection

    When the Song (AD 960–1279) lost the northern part of their empire to the Jin dynasty (1115-1234) and moved the capital south to Hangzhou in 1127, they also lost access to the best ceramic manufactories of the north. Official (guan) kilns were therefore set up in the capital to supply the court. Although they copied the finest wares of the north, notably ‘Ru’ (see [LI1301.229]), with the southern materials the results were quite different and established a new style. Guan ware became so highly regarded that it has been imitated ever since.

    The small piece is finely potted and richly glazed, the everted sides shaped in ten double-lobed foliations, which continue onto the footring, the base is domed on the inside, concave on the underside, where the glaze shows five small dot-shaped spur marks. The piece is otherwise fully covered with a rich bluish-grey glaze of extremely smooth texture, thinning to reveal the dark clay at the rim, and displaying an attractive even dark-stained crackle overall.

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