Stories of Chinese Ceramics
On the Chinese new year day, I’m choosing to post the stories of Chinese ceramics to close Cee’s special five challenges.
Ancient types of Chinese ceramic wares were made at around ten to eleven thousand years ago.
The sophistication of Chinese potters is best exemplified by the legion of terracotta warriors found in the tomb of the first Qin Emperor (221-210 BC).
The three-colored ware in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) is one of the most famous ceramic development in Chinese history, using the bright yellow, green and white glazes.
During the Sung (or Song) Dynasty (960-1279), the making of porcelains reached its new high. The new potting techniques (glaze and firing processes) in conjunction with the aesthetic design and elegant colors set a high standard of excellence.
Blue and white porcelains of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) are characterized by the purity of its kaolin clay body. Also, it was the first time in history, porcelains were mass-produced. Between 1350 and 1750 Jingdezhen was the production center for nearly all of the world’s porcelains; over three million pieces were exported to Europe between 1604 and 1657 alone.
During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911, the last Chinese dynasty before the revolution), the five-colored porcelains made another breakthrough from the traditional porcelain design by using flowers, landscape, and figurative scenes to decorate the porcelains.
–The above photos are from wiki commons and Artvalue.com.
Auction Records by Sotheby:
- A washer (5 1/4″) of Song Dynasty was sold for $26,820,645 on April 4th, 2012:
- A blue and white vase (14 3/8″) of Ming Dynasty was sold for $21, 762,580 on Oct. 5, 2011:
- A rose floral medallion bottle vase (17 1/4″) of Qing Dynasty was sold for $18, 149,677 on Oct. 8. 2010:
The most exquisite ceramics and porcelains are housed in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan. It has a permanent collection of 693,507 ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks, encompassing over 8000 years of Chinese history from the Neolithic age to the late Qing Dynasty. Most of the treasures were collected by emperors and royal families.
I was also impressed by the Chinese porcelain collections in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Thanks to Cee for her wonderful five-element challenge theme! I hope you enjoy reading and viewing these ancient, precious, delicate, elegant, and beautiful treasures.