Jar with crackled glaze
China, Guan kilns
Southern Song dynasty, 1200-1300
Museum no. C.25-1935
Purchased from the Eumorphopoulos Collection with the assistance of The Art Fund, the Vallentin Bequest, Sir Percival David and the Universities' China Committee.
In 1126, the Song dynasty lost the northern part of its territories and retreated south to a new capital at Hangzhou. Two new imperial kilns were established nearby for the production of Guan ('official') wares.
Guan wares are distinguished by their crackled glazes, which occur when the glaze shrinks more than the clay body. These were created deliberately, probably by reducing the glaze's silica content.