Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Guan stoneware brush-washer with flaring sides and eight petal-shaped lobes. The brush-washer has opaque bluish-grey glaze with wide even crackle stained black and dark brown. There are five spur marks on the base, which is glazed.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1127-1279
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 30 millimetres
    • Diameter: 99 millimetres
    • Diameter: 78 millimetres (base)
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Song or Yuan 13th-14th century
    Room 95 label text:

    PDF 30

    Guan ware brush-washer

    Jin soldiers overthrew the Northern Song court in AD 1127. Emperor Song Gaozong (ruled AD1127–1162), his family and staff fled from their capital in Bianjing (Kaifeng) and established a new government in the south in Lin’an (Hangzhou). He established an official guan kiln there to recreate Ru wares (case 53). 官(guan ‘official’) stonewares such as this brush-washer are characterised by a thin, dark clay body and a luscious celadon glaze with tiny bubbles and a distinctive crackle.

    Stoneware with crackled pale blue-green glaze
    Guan ware 官窯
    Hangzhou, Zhejiang province 浙江省, 杭州
    Southern Song Dynasty, about AD 1127–1279


  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 32 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 1999 p.29, no.30, colour, p.60 bibliographic details
    • Hobson 1934 p.30, pl. XXIX(d) bibliographic details
    • Yorke Hardy 1953 pp 9-10, no.30, pl.IV bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G95/dc7/sh4

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    PDF Card: Acquired before 1934.

  • Department


  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: RRC38449

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help