China, Henan Province, Linru County, Northern Song dynasty (960-1126)
late 1000- early 1100s
glazed (porcelaneous) stoneware
Chinese Art 
Diameter - w:12.80 cm (w:5 inches)
John L. Severance Fund
not on view
Ru ware is the rarest and most treasured of all the Chinese ceramic wares. This brush washer is among the very few known specimens (about two) in the U.S. Lee’s commitment to standards of quality is best demonstrated by this powerful, understated treasure of national and international significance. Elegance of form and subtlety of glaze are the hallmarksof this northern celadon intended for imperial use during the late Northern Song dynasty. Only those pieces rejected by the court could be available for popular use. Connoisseurs further appreciate the fine crackle in the glaze and the tiny spur marks on the base. Even a little black spot is identified as "one of the slight imperfections characteristic of genuine Ru ware."