Porcelain water dropper with pale blue glaze, qingbai ware, China, Song dynasty (960-1127). Victoria & Albert Museum © V&A Images

Height: 6.5 cm. Given by Peter Harris on behalf of his brother Mike Harris (deceased). Museum number: FE.15-2001.

This water dropper was made during the Song dynasty (960-1279), the classical period in the history of Chinese ceramics. Kilns appeared in all parts of China, each kiln with its own specialized products. Centuries later they were much sought after by collectors. A systematic classification of the different wares was already well established in the 1400s, whereby ceramics were named after the town in which the kilns operated. The best known wares are Ru, Ding, Jun, Yaozhou, Cizhou, Yue, Guan, Longquan, Jian, Jizhou and Qingbai. This piece is a Qingbai ware.

Bibliographic ReferencesKerr, Rose. Song dynasty ceramics. London:V&A Publications, 2004, plate 101.