Jun ware bowl with imperial inscription dated 1776

Historical period(s)
Jin dynasty, 13th century
Stoneware with Jun glaze
Jun ware
H x Diam: 8.4 × 19.5 cm (3 5/16 × 7 11/16 in)
China, Henan province
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


China, Jin dynasty (1115 - 1234), Jun ware, stoneware

To 1902
T.J. Larkin, London, to 1902 [1]

From 1902 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from T.J. Larkin in 1902 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 1160, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Thomas Joseph Larkin (C.L. Freer source) 1848-1915
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Thirteenth-century Jun wares are distinguished by an opalescent blue glaze, which is often shot through with splashes of purple that result from copper in the glaze. When the Qianlong emperor (reigned 1736-95) was presented with this bowl, he ordered his appraisal of it as a "second-rate piece later than the Song dynasty [960-1279]" to be cut into the glaze. The importance of the bowl, the inscription explains, is that it was found by soldiers in China's northern frontier in Xinjiang Province, a territory that Qianlong had conquered for China in 1759. He justified his military exploits in the inscription: "Soldiers' encampments can safeguard the frontier peoples so that dwellers in small villages can endeavor to live happily for a hundred generations."

Published References
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 76.
  • Emperor Lung Ch'ien. Ch'ing Kao Tsung yu chi yung tz'u shih lu [Poems by the Ch'ien Lung Emperor Inscribed on his Collection of Pottery]. p. 61a.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
The Story of the Beautiful
Google Cultural Institute
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