This brush washer has an especially beautiful glaze, of the soft bluish tone, which has traditionally been much prized by connoisseurs. Fine glaze color and texture appears to be a characteristic of the few examples of this particular brush washer form preserved in museum collections. A slightly larger, but similarly proportioned Longquan brush washer of this type in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei is illustrated in Porcelain of the National Palace Museum - Lung-ch'üan Ware of the Sung Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1962, p. 61, pls. 18 & 18a). An even larger, but somewhat less successfully proportioned, Longquan brush washer from the Qing court collection is in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing and illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum - 33 - Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, 1996, p. 145, no. 130. The Beijing brush washer also has a fine bluish glaze, but with some crackle reminiscent of Guan ware. Another larger vessel of this shape, but with a metal rim around its mouth also in the Palace Museum, is illustrated, op. cit., p. 12, no. 8. This washer, also from the Qing court collection, has a crackled glaze, dark body and has been fired on spurs. It has therefore been attributed to the Guan kilns. Another Guan ware example is in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei.
Guan-like crackle is even more evident on a similar washer in the Percival David Foundation. See A Hundred Masterpieces of Chinese Ceramics from the Percival David Collection, London, Tokyo, 1980, no. 28. This piece has characteristics of the Longquan kilns, including a fenqing colored glaze. However, the body, shape and crackle accord closely with Guan wares made at the Jiaotanxia kiln. It is therefore difficult to be certain which kiln area the piece comes from. A vessel of this type is depicted on an imperial scroll, dated by inscription to the sixth year of Yongzheng (AD 1728) in the David Foundation. The scroll, entitled Guwan tu (Scroll of Antiquities) purports to depict items from the imperial collection. The washer of similar form and color to the present vessel is painted with a crackled glaze.
A glaze closer in texture to the current vessel can be seen on another similarly shaped washer in the Percival David Foundation. This Longquan washer has an uncrackled glaze, and a copper band has been applied to its mouth rim, probably to disguise minor damage. See Masterpieces of Chinese Ceramics from the Percival David Collection, Osaka, 1998, p. 53, no. 23. Vessels of similar shape and fine bluish glaze have been excavated from the Dayao kiln site. See Longquan qingci yanjiu, Zhejiang xian qinggongye ting, 1989, pl. 6, no. 1. Similar Southern Song vessels have also been excavated in Sichuan province. A larger vessel and two smaller washers excavated in 1974 from a Yuan tomb in Yuanyichang, Dongxi, Jianyang county are illustrated in Longquan Celadon - The Sichuan Museum Collection, Macau, 1998, pp. 130-31, no. 36, and pp. 232-33, nos. 97 and 98, respectively. A similar vessel, but with somewhat more sloping sides, is in the Cleveland Museum of Art. See J. Neils (ed.), The World of Ceramics, Masterpieces from the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, 1982, p. 105, no. 109. The vessels excavated in Sichuan, at Dayao, both the David Foundation washers, the Beijing Longquan washer, and the Taipei Longquan washer all share with the current example the feature of having an unglazed foot rim on which they were fired.