Lot 15. A large 'Jun' purple-splashed handled-jar, Yuan dynasty (1279-1368); 25.2 cm, 10 in. Estimate 50,000 — 70,000 GBP. Courtesy Sotheby's.
sturdily potted, the deep sides rising from a short splayed foot to a short wide neck, flanked by a pair of loop handles to the side, splashed to one side and to the handles with a rich purple on the pale blue glaze thinning to a mushroom tone to the rim and stopping irregularly above the foot to reveal the pale buff body.
Property fom the Rui Xiu Lou Collection.
Note: ‘Jun’ ware, with its type site represented by the Juntai kilns in the former region of Junzhou, modern-day Yuxian, Henan province, was produced by many different manufactories in Henan, including the Ru kilns at Qingliangsi in Baofeng, probably from the end of the Northern Song period (960-1127) until at least the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). In comparison to the other important Song wares, the bodies of ‘Jun’ wares are more thickly potted, which is a contributing factor to the more simplistic forms – as well as the viscous glazes. As water from the glaze is absorbed by the porous biscuit in the firing, the glaze appears thicker, lending itself to a more substantial covering.
This jar is unusual for its generous proportions, its broad shoulders accentuated through the dramatic purple splash that also creates a colourful contrast to the thick bright blue glaze Such splashes on Jun ware were created through the application of purplish-red pigments derived from copper, over the thick bluish glaze. These colourful marks were either painted in broad stokes or splashed over the dried blue ground before being fired in a reduction kiln, resulting in flamboyant patches of purple, lavender and tones of deep blue.
We can compare the present car with two slightly smaller jars of this type sold in these rooms, 27th November 1967, lot 267, and 17th November 1999, lot 853; another example is illustrated in Mayuyama, Seventy Years, Tokyo, 1976, vol. 1. A jar of similar form but with a green splash and attributed to the Song dynasty (960-1279), in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, published on the Museum’s website, accession no. C.585-1925.
Jun ware. Jar, stoneware with a pale blue glaze; China (Henan province), Northern Song-Jin dynasty, 1100-1250. Height: 10.5 cm, Diameter: 14 cm. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, C.585-1925. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.