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Planter with impressed character i (one)
14th-early 15th century

Yuan or Ming dynasty

Stoneware with Jun glaze
H: 25.6 W: 27.2 cm
China

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1907.38a-b

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Later connoisseurs assigned Song dynasty Jun ware the status of one of the "five great wares of China." This piece shows the thick, opalescent, intensely blue glaze that distinguishes Jun ware. Five holes in the base indicate its intended use as a planter; it once rested in a matching shallow saucer. The number "one" is incised on the base for ease of matching container and saucer. The dates of some Jun ware are controversial, but current scholarship assigns a Northern Song date (960–1127) to stellar objects like this pot, presumably made for the court. Previously it was dated to the twelfth to thirteenth century.