Jun ware (Chinese: 鈞窯; Wade–Giles: Chün) is a type of Chinese celadon. The use of straw ash in the glaze bestows its unique blue glaze suffused with white. The ware was created near Linru County in the province of Henan at the Jun kilns of Yuzhou City during the Northern Song dynasty (960–1126) to the Jin dynasty (1115–1234) and Yuan dynasty (1271–1368).
The Chinese character for Jun became incorporated in local place names only as late as 1368. There is no mention of the kilns of Jun ware in written sources from the Song to Yuan dynasties. A black ware with spots was produced at the Xiaobai Valley in the Tang dynasty and can be considered the precursor of Jun ware. Jun celadon closely resembles Jun official celadon with its multiple layers of blue glaze. The kiln sites of both wares were geographically near one another as well. The Jun glaze included blue-gray, sky-blue, moon-white, red and purple, the most prized have crimson or purple splashes. Varying the temperature of the kilns changed color tints, a technique known as yaobian. The foot of the later period ware is usually unglazed and brown; the rim of bowls can also be brown or greenish where the glaze is thinner. Song period examples display a careful finishing with glaze inside the foot. Naturally Song shapes are crisp and thinner than later Jin and Yuan examples. There is a great variety of shapes such as bowls, dishes and flowerpots. Narcissus bowls were often numbered and whose refinement suggests a connection with Jun official ware. Other extant examples of Jun ware display inscriptions on their bases that resemble other palace wares of the period. The numbers from one to ten are perhaps indications of size. The ware experiences a fall in quality into the Jin period. Later, in the Yuan dynasty, Jun ware production spread to other kiln sites in Henan, Hebei and Shanxi provinces, although Yuzhou City was the prime area for Jun ware production. Investigations of Jun ware kiln sites began in 1951 under Chen Wanli of the Palace Museum. A hundred kiln sites were subsequently discovered. A major report appeared in the journal Historical Relic in 1964.
Jin dynasty Jun ware dish with opalescent blue and lavender splashed glazes
Spittoon, 14th Century
Stoneware platter with Jun on Tenmoku, 2008
Jun on porcelaneous stoneware, 2008