Five Famous Porcelain Kilns in the Song Dynasty

Five Famous Porcelain Kilns in the Song Dynasty

In the Song Dynasty there were five famous porcelain kilns: Ru Kiln, Guan Kiln (Official Kiln), Jun Kiln, Ge Kilin and Ding Kiln.

Ru kiln is located in present-day Linru, Henan Province. Even nowadays, its celadon porcelain is still precious. It is lustrous and glazed in blue, with tiny crackles like ice cracking and crab claws all over the body. At the bottom is tiny trace of the burnt packed pin. It has created the special style of printing on the celadon porcelain.

Imperial kiln specially refers to the official kiln administered by the government in the Song Dynasty. It was first located in Kaifeng, Henan Province and afterwards moved to Hangzhou. Artistically, the Imperial kiln pursues primitive simplicity and natural elegance. The bone is thin but solid. The glaze is blue and fresh, as rich and lustrous as fat. The veins are found all over the body, free and smooth. The uniqueness of the porcelain produced at the Imperial kiln lies in the brown bottom and purple mouth.

Jun kiln is located over the strip between Ba Gua Dong (Eight Diagrams Cave ) and Juntai in present Yuzhou, Henan Province. It mainly produced opaque glazed porcelain. The porcelain will appear colorful after being glazed in multiple colors: rose purple, begonia red, eggplant purple, fresh green, sky blue and beige. Of all porcelains, the porcelains in red and purple are the most valuable. They are known as "Jun Red" and "Jun Purple".

Ge kiln is located in Longquan, Zhejiang Province. The porcelain is famous for the veins on the surface. The glazed surface is covered with numerous whitish and tiny crackles which are mutually intersected, hence the name - BaiJiCui. Due to the difference in glazed colour and body quality, the porcelain will appear in diversified shades and colours such as red, black, gold and yellow. Observed with naked eyes, the crackles appear to be real cracks. But observed with the magnifier, these crackles are rather compacted and exquisite.

Ding kiln is located in Quyang County in Hebei Province. The kiln mainly produces white porcelain, with black glazed, brown glazed and green glazed porcelain as well as the white glazed vases as its minor products. The porcelain produced by the Ding Kiln is thin but solid. The white glazed porcelain can be classified into three types: carved pattern, incised pattern and printed pattern. The pattern is featured by birds and fish. During the kilning, the ware can be inverted by bottoming up. In so doing, the finished porcelain will have the mouth without being glazed. Therefore, the mouth rim shall be wrapped with metal for the purpose of protection.


Refuse vessel with carved floral design, Ding ware

Song Dynasty

Height: 7.4cm

Diameter of mouth: 17.8cm

Diameter of foot: 4.6cm

Gall-shaped vase, Ge ware

Song Dynasty

Height: 14.2cm

Diameter of mouth: 2.2cm

Diameter of foot: 5.4cm

Vase with bow-string design, Guan ware

Song Dynasty

Height: 33.6cm

Diameter of mouth: 9.9cm

Diameter of foot: 14.2cm

Moon-white glazed Zun with vertical flanges, Jun ware

Song Dynasty

Height: 32.6cm

Diameter of mouth: 26cm

Diameter of foot: 21cm

Three legged Zun, Ru ware

Song Dynasty

Height: 12.9cm

Diameter of mouth: 18cm

Diameter of bottom: 17.8cm