An image of Brush washer in the shape of a plum blossom

Guan ware

(China  – )

Brush washer in the shape of a plum blossom

Not on display
Further information

'Guan' means 'official' and imperial Guan wares were made for the newly established Southern Song court after the style of wares made previously for the northern court at Kaifeng. Produced at the Guan kilns sited in present-day Zhejiang province, Guan wares, and Guan-type wares made at Longquan kilns, are among the most sumptuous of Song wares. Typically they are thin and dark bodied, but thickly covered with many layers of lustrous greyish-green glaze with a mesh of crackle which has been enhanced by staining.

This piece exemplifies Southern Song taste and would have been among the desk accoutrements of a late Song literati aspiring to pursue a reclusive life of self-cultivation that focused on reading, poetry, painting and calligraphy.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.107.

Place of origin
Zhejiang Province, China
China: Song dynasty 960–1279, Southern Song 1127–1279
stoneware with crackled glaze
2.7 x 10.8 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Gift of Mr J.H. Myrtle 1998
Accession number