Original paper

Study on Ru imperial ware and its imitations

Min, Feng; Changsui, Wang; Musen, Guo; Xinmin, Sun


This paper is focused on the microstructure and microanalysis of the ancient Chinese Ru imperial ware and its imitations, the ancient Jun ware and Yue celadon ware. Samples were measured by stereomicroscope, polarized-microscope, XRD, SRXRF, HR–TEM and F–SEM, both equipped with EDX. We concluded that there are three phases in the glaze of the Ru imperial ware, a crystalline plus two amorphous phases, while only two amorphous phases were found in the glaze of the Ru's imitation and Jun wares, and only one amorphous phase in the glaze of the Yue celadon. Great differences were observed between the Ru ware and its imitations. Ru's imitations had more similarities with the ancient Jun blue-glazed ware. The unique crystalline phase found in the Ru imperial ware glaze was identified as anorthite. Mechanism of forming blue color in the glaze of Ru imperial ware is related to the Rayleigh scattering. The interlayer found between the glaze and the body had the same mineral paragenesis as the body itself. This and the distribution of the bubbles in the glaze, led us to conclude that the Ru ware was fired before it was glazed and the glassy appearance of its glaze was due to the sudden drop of temperature not because of the high firing temperature as believed in other researches.