This shard was previously part of a Guan (官) or ‘official’ ware. It is undecorated and is covered in a lavender-blue, crackled glaze.Guan wares are thought to be a continuation of the northern ‘guan yao’ (‘official ware’), also known as Ru wares. The production of Ru wares ended with the Northern Song dynasty (960-1126). Guan wares were produced for the court after the capital had moved south to Hangzhou. They are located near to Longquan kilns, which supplemented supplies when demand was high.Guan ware is esteemed as one of ‘the five great wares of China’ by connoisseurs in the Southern Song, Ming and Qing dynasties.