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Ru ware is perhaps the first "official ware" specifically commissioned by the imperial court.
Their normal practice seems to have been to review the large quantities of "tributary ware" given to them by the provinces making ceramics, effectively as a form of tax.
) is a famous and extremely rare type of Chinese pottery from the Song dynasty, produced for the imperial court for a brief period around 1100.
Fewer than 100 complete pieces survive, though there are later imitations which do not entirely match the originals.
There are a few oval "narcissus vases", which is to say planters for daffodils.
Many pieces have a subtle crazed or crackled glaze, though there is some evidence that the most admired are those without this, and the effect was not deliberate.
Ruthenium may have anti-cancer medication applications as well.
The court kept what they wanted and redistributed the remainder as part of their lavish gifts to officials, temples, and foreign rulers, and perhaps also selling some.
Production ended when, or shortly before, the kilns were occupied by the invaders who overthrew the Northern Song dynasty in the 1120s, but the wares remained famous and highly sought after.
The source, Zhou Hui, also says the glaze contained agate, and when the kiln site was located in recent decades it was indeed very close to a site for mining agate, which is very largely composed of silica, a usual component of ceramic glazes.
However, experts now discount any influence of agate in achieving the Ru glaze colour.
On 3 October 2017, a Ru ware brush-washer dish, 13cm (5in) across, set a new record auction price for Chinese ceramics at Sotheby's Hong Kong, fetching HK$ 294.3 million, nearly US$ 28 million.