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Yuan Period Jun Bowl
Side View, Nantoyōsō Collection, Japan
Chinese Jun ware (鈞窯; Wade-Giles: Chün) can be considered a variety of celadon. The use of straw ash in the glaze bestows on this ware its unique blue glaze suffused with white. The ware was created near Linru County in the province of Henanmarker at the Jun kilns of Yuxian County during the Northern Song dynasty (960-1126) to the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) and Yuan dynastymarker (1271-1368). The Chinese character for Jun became incorporated in local place names only as late as 1368. There is no mention of the kilns of Jun ware in any Song to Yuan dynasty written sources. A black ware with spots was produced at the Xiaobai Valley in the Tang Dynasty and can be considered the precursor of Jun ware. Jun celadon closely resembles Ju official celadon with its multiple layers of blue glaze. The kiln sites of both wares were geographically near one another as well. The Jun glaze included blue-gray, sky-blue, moon-white, red and purple, the most prized have crimson or purple splashes. Varying the temperature of the kilns changed color tints, a technique known as yaobian. The foot of the later period ware is usually unglazed and brown; the rim of bowls can also be brown or greenish where the glaze is thinner. Song period examples display a careful finishing with glaze inside the foot. Naturally Song shapes are crisp and thinner than later Jin and Yuan examples. There is a great variety of shapes such as bowls, dishes and flowerpots. Narcissus bowls were often numbered and whose refinement suggests a connection with Ju official ware. Other extant examples of Jun ware display inscriptions on their bases that resemble other palace wares of the period. The numbers from one to ten are perhaps indications of size. The ware experiences a fall in quality into the Jin period. Later, in the Yuan dynastymarker, Jun ware production spread to other kiln sites in Henanmarker, Hebeimarker and Shanximarker provinces, although Yuxian County was the prime area for Jun ware production. Investigations of Jun ware kiln sites began in 1951 under Chen Wanli of the Palace Museum. Over a hundred kiln sites have been subsequently discovered. A major report appeared in the journal Wenwu in 1964. Excellent examples of Jun ware appear in many Chinese, European and American collections. In Japan Jun ware has traditionally received little of the attention and praise usually reserved for Zhejiang celadon and Temmoku ware.

References

Masashiko Sato, Chinese Ceramics, Weatherhill, Tokyo, 1981, pp. 117-119.

Shen Roujian, Dictionary of Chinese Fine Arts, Shanghai, pp. 287-288.

Gallery

File:Smoke Platter.jpg|Stoneware platter with Jun on Tenmoku, 2008.File:Chun Bottles.jpg|Jun on porcelaneous stoneware, 2008.

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