A heavily potted Longquan ware (celadon) dish. The dish is saucer shaped and has a horizontal brim and a narrow tapering foot with recessed base. The dish is covered with a thick, blue-green glaze with an irregular crackle.
One of the largest and most productive Chinese kiln centres was that of Longquan, situated in south Zhejiang province. About five hundred kilns have been located in an area stretching over a hundred kilometres around the town of Longquan, into neighbouring counties and into the province of Fujian. Although celadon-making kilns had been active in this area for much longer, the success of the Langquan manufactories began with the move of the Song capital to Hangzou further north in the same province, in 1127.
The body material of Longquan celadon ranges from a light grey stoneware to a pure white porcelain, and tends to fire an intense brick red where it is exposed in the kiln. Many Northern Song examples are stylistically inndebted to contemporary Yue or Yaozhou wares.
The finest productions were made in the Southern Song dynasty, when the potters concentrated on creating exquisite flawless glazes of a bright blue-green tone, which were thickly applied in more than one layer. These wares are mostly plain and the best imitate the colour and crackle of Guan ware so succesfully that they can be mistaken for the official ware from Hangzhou.