Skip to Content

Topic: Chinese

$25 million Vase Found in a Shoebox

A French family found a porcelain vase, intricately decorated with animals, trees and embellishments, in an old shoebox in their attic. It sold at auction for €16.2 million euros ($au25.1 million).  Continue Reading »

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 »

Chinese Bronzes

Although carvings in marble, bone and jade exist, the great art of the Shang dynasty (1523 to 1028 B.C.) was that of ritual bronze vessels. These were intended to hold wine, water, grain and meat to be used in sacrificial rites. The vessels were decorated with stylised representations of animals, governed by rigid conventions. A […]  Continue Reading »

Chinese Jade

Jade, and particularly Chinese jade, can be a very difficult item to purchase wisely, unless you are an expert or deal through a reputable dealer. The confusion starts because there are actually two minerals (nephrite and jadeite) which we, in the West, call jade. These range in colour from white through brown to green, and […]  Continue Reading »

Chinese Painting

The Chinese considered painting to be the only fine art. The artist looked to the past for inspiration. Recreating past masterpieces was regarded as a worthwhile and honourable endeavour – unlike in the West, where it is regarded as forgery! Since the Sung Dynasty ((980 to 1279) landscape painting has been predominant. The characteristic style […]  Continue Reading »