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Flowerpot stand, stoneware with a bluish-coloured glaze, Jun ware, Henan province, China, Jin-Yuan dynasty, 1200-1368. Height: 7.3 cm, Length: 20 cm. C.106-1939. Eumorfopoulos Collection © V&A Images

This flowerpot stand belongs to a type of ceramics known as Jun ware. Chinese ceramics are often categorized by the geographical area in which they were made, as the kilns of a particular region usually made only one or two types of ceramics at a given time in history. Jun ware was produced in the kilns of the Henan province and its height of production was during the Song dynasty (960-1279). It can be identified visually by its coarse stoneware body and its thickly applied glaze, which through firing gained an opalescent blue colour. At the edges the glaze ran thin, becoming semi-transparent and creating the simple and elegant colouring of this piece. 
While most Jun ware is relatively modest in size, many larger pieces, such as this, were made for the purpose of plant cultivation and often bear ‘earthworm trails’ in their glaze. Rather than applying the glaze to the body in several coats, Jun glazes were applied a single, thick coat. On larger pieces, The gaps that developed in the raw glaze as it dried were later fixed in firing, creating the ‘earthworm trail’ effect. Initially a fault in the process, this was later valued as a positive trait of larger Jun wares.

Marks and inscriptions: A size mark '3' incised on the base. 

Bibliographic References: Kerr Rose. Song Dynasty Ceramics. London: V&A Publications, 2004. p. 38, nos. 29 and 29a.