The shallow and sturdy form of this dish, with a wide everted rim, represents a classic shape of Jun ware produced at kilns in Henan province. One of the ‘Five Classic Wares’ of the Song dynasty, these wares are known for their ravishing blue glazes, which were not achieved from pigment but from an optical illusion where minute spherules of glass in the glaze scattered blue light. Unlike the other classic wares of the Song dynasty, the porous and thick body of Jun ware was best suited for simple forms, such as this charming dish.
Two slightly smaller dishes in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, are illustrated in Selection of Jun Ware. the Palace Museum’s Collection and Archaeological Excavation, Beijing, 2013, pls 18 and 19; two slightly larger dishes were sold in our London rooms, the first from the collection of Edward T. Chow, published in Basil Gray, Early Chinese Pottery and Porcelain, London, 1952, pl. 84, sold 16th December 1980, lot 272, and the second, 10th December 1991, lot 133; and another dish was sold in our London rooms, 10th December 1991, lot 133.
Compare also two dishes that were fired on five spurs, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in A Panorama of Ceramics in the Collection of the National Palace Museum. Chün Ware, Taipei, 1999, pls 54 and 55; a dish in the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, illustrated in Chinese Ceramics in the Idemitsu Collection, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 495; and a further dish from the Sir Percival David collection, now in the British Museum, London, published in Illustrated Catalogue of Ru, Guan, Jun, Guangdong and Yixing Wares in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, London, 1999, pl. A66.