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Chinese pottery and Porcelain

Chinese Ceramics – Antiquity

  Bronze Age (1500-476 BC} Chinese Bronze Age pottery was mainly grey but small quantities of white pottery were produced. This “proto-porcelain” seems to have been produced almost by chance. Kaolin (the main constituent of porcelain) was relatively common and the temperature required to smelt bronze (1100 degrees C) happens to be close to the […]  Continue Reading »

Chinese Ceramics – Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

During the Ming Dynasty, the royal family directly controlled the government pottery kilns. As a result these had the best materials and the best craftsmen. Jingdezhen became the national porcelain centre. The general characteristics of Ming porcelain are a fine-grained body, white colour tinted beige on the unglazed footring. Glazes are usually fairly thick and […]  Continue Reading »

Chinese Ceramics – Ch’ing Dynasty (1644-1912)

After the disruption of the Manchu invasion, Jingdezhen was re-established as the porcelain centre and re-organised on a production-line basis. Manufacture and decoration were separated into a number of specialist operations. Even the decoration of a single pot was split up with one man painting flowers, another trees, and so on. To achieve this, a […]  Continue Reading »

Meaning of Chinese Decorations

Many of the decorations which are used on Chinese ceramics have special meanings. These are some of the common ones. Bamboo: promotion or perfect personality. Bat: hapiness. (In mandarin, the word for “bat” sounds like the word for “happiness”.) Carp: doing well in business. (In mandarin, the word for “carp” sounds like the word for […]  Continue Reading »