Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blue and White Ceramics of Vietnam

Blue and white ceramics are white porcelain that have patterns in blue cobalt-based glaze added and then are covered with a clear glaze, a technique known as underglaze blue. The technique prospered in Jingdezhen, China during the Yuan dynasty (1271 - 1368) and was introduced to Vietnam towards the end of the Tran dynasty (1225 - 1400). In Japan, Vietnamese blue and white ceramics are also known as Annan-yaki underglaze blue.

Initially reflecting the large influence of Chinese blue and white ceramics, the Vietnamese soon established their own distinctive style. From the 15th through the 16th century, large quantities of Vietnamese blue and white ceramics were exported to Indonesia and the Philippines. The hue of the porcelain is off-white, giving it a soft feeling, and the somewhat dull contrast between the blue and white areas is considered a special feature. Graceful and willowy brushstrokes form soft and elegant patterns, unlike the sharpness of Chinese blue and white porcelain. The blue and white ceramics from this time feature a blurred design, called shiboride in Japanese. At the start of the 17th century, as the amount of porcelain exported gradually decreased, artisans turned to making large candleholders and incense burners.

Courtesy of Tokyo National Museum

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Object types
stem cup (all objects)

porcelain (all objects)
metal (all objects)
doucai glazed

Production place
Made in Jingdezhen
(Asia,China,Jiangxi (province),

Found/Acquired China

1573-1620 (circa)

Wanli (probably) Ming dynasty 
Porcelain stem cup with underglaze blue and 'doucai'-style decoration and metal-bound rim. This small stem cup has a round bowl with an everted rim bound with gilt-bronze and a solid flared stem with a recessed base. Inside it is plain and outside is painted in underglaze blue with a branch of a fruiting grape vine. The rim and foot are outlined in double blue lines. Coloured overglaze enamels - green leaves, brown branches, yellow tendrils and chocolate-brown grapes - have been added for a second firing. The base carries an apocryphal six-character Chenghua reign mark in a double ring.

Inscription Type: mark
Inscription Position: base
Inscription Language: Chinese
Inscription Transliteration: Da Ming Chenghua Nian Zhi
Inscription Translation: Made in the Chenghua reign of the Ming dynasty
Inscription Comment: Apocryphal six-character Chenghua reign mark in a double ring.

Height: 6.2 centimetres
Diameter: 8 centimetres

Curator's comments
Harrison-Hall 2001:
Wine cups of this design were first made in the fifteenth century. A genuine Chenghua mark and period cup with the same design is in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, London. The British Museum cup is, however, not a Chenghua original. It has a blue-white glaze which is quite distinct from the yellow-white porcelains of the Chenghua era. In addition to this the style of painting is much suffer on the present piece than on a Chenghua original. Moreover, an original Chenghua stem cup of this quality would have been destroyed at the kiln site for being substandard, as evidenced by a similar flawed cup which was discarded in the imperial kiln Chenghua period waste heap at Jingdezhen and was excavated there recently.
Chenghua porcelains were already collector's items in the Wanli period, approximately one hundred years after their manufacture. Ts'ai Ho-pi has gathered together several commentaries on these porcelains from the Wanli period. For example, the connoisseur and scholar Zhang Yingwen (fl. 1530-94), author of "Qing Mi Cang", wrote: 'There are also... Chenghua wucai grape cups... which are worth having....' And Shen Defu (1578-1642) recorded in the "Wanli Ye Huo Bian": '... but today Chenghua wares have become expensive, surpassing those of Xuande....' Some imitation Chenghua 'doucai' bear later Ming reign marks, while others imitate the original Chenghua mark.
Located at the British Art Museum

Monday, October 29, 2012


Chinese, Yuan dynasty, c. 1330-50
Jingdezhen ware, porcelain painted in underglaze cobalt blue with molded decoration
H. 4 in. (10.2 cm)

Loan from the Jinglexuan Collection

Located at the Seattle Art Museum

Saturday, October 27, 2012

MEIJI PERIOD : Chadogu Netsuke

An ivory netsuke in the form of a cluster of chadogu "tea tools." Falcon feather haboki, chashaku, mizusashi, chairé, futaoki, chasen… all attractively arranged in a compact composition to serve the functional needs of a tea ceremony devotee.

Length: 4.0 cm

Thursday, October 25, 2012

LIAO DYNASTY: Preparation of tea, mural

Preparation of tea, mural from a Liao dynasty (907–1125) tomb of 1093 showing the typical tea utensils of the Tang still in use

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


The royal gilt silver tea set, unearthed from the underground palace of Famen Temple in 1987 and now preserved in the Famen Temple Museum, is the earliest tea set of the highest rank discovered in the world, which has become the greatest and most significant discovery for archeological study on the world tea culture.
The tea set includes a tea caddy weaved out of metallic yarn, a gilt silver tortoise-shaped tea box, a tea roller and a silver stove for cooking tea. Each piece of the set is a fine work with its gorgeousness constituting a rare state-of-the-art set with high artistic value, and a proof that China is the origin of tea culture.
The gilt silver tea box is exquisitely worked out in a height of 17.8cm. It is a compact four-footed tea box put with cattail leaves against dampness. It’s estimated that it can hold bunches of tea breads weighing half a kilogram or so.
The silver stove is 56.0cm high weighing 3920 grams. It is plain and neat made of sheet metal and consists of a cover and a stove frame.
The tea groove in the Tang Dynasty is in the same shape of today’s medicine grinder groove, which resembles a boat with a V-shaped transect, curved bottom and upturned ends designed in consideration of roller movements.
The gilt silver tortoise-shaped tea box features the tortoise back as its lid with the four legs and its head being hollow for the purpose of keeping tealeaves.
As a part of the tea set, the Tiao Da Zi (a kind of container for mixing tea) is used for tea mixing and drinking, since in ancient China, the tea drinking activity is to some extent just like having food. First you need to put tea into the container with appropriate spices. Then, pour in some boiled water and mix the tea into paste; lastly, you can add more water to make it into tea soup.
The salt plate is something used for placing salt, pepper and other spices by ancient people when preparing tea.

BY Explore Cultural China

Sunday, October 21, 2012

SOUTHERN SONG DYNASTY: Tortoiseshell Tea Bowl

The Chi-chou region located in central Kiangsi province produced its best known wares during Southern Sung (1127-1279). This was a technically creative period when Chi-chou kilns introduced and pioneered new techniques of decoration including tortoiseshell glazes as well as paper cut, glaze resist and naturalistic leaf designs. Called tai mei wen in Sung literature, tortoiseshell refers to the shell of the hawksbill sea turtle from which the Chinese made a variety of decorative items. The glaze was apparently made by splashing wood or bamboo ash, probably as an admixture of slip, on the surface of the dark glaze before firing. Light-toned splashes formed in those areas receiving the ash.

DATE: Southern Sung dynasty
MEDIUM: Chi-chou ware Stoneware with dark-brown and splashed-amber glazes
DIMENSIONS: H.2-1/16 x Dia.6 in.
CREDIT LINE: Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton

Located Minneapolis Institute of Art

Friday, October 19, 2012

Song Dynasty tea bowl on a Ming Dynasty stand

A 13th-century Song Dynasty Jian-type (of China's Fujian province) stoneware tea bowl sitting atop a 16th-century Ming Dynasty lacquer tea bowl stand with mother of pearl inlay designs of nature scenes. Both items were donated to the collection of the Freer Gallery in this setup.

Located at Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington D.C.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

SOUTHERN SONG DYNASTY: Tea Bowl (Chawan), inscribed ’[Wishes for] Longevity, Prosperity, and Good Health’,

Southern Song dynasty
Ceramic, Stoneware, Jizhou ware, Jizhou ware; wheel-thrown stoneware with paper-cut resist decoration and mottled brown glaze
Height: 2 3/8 in. (6 cm)
 Diameter: 4 1/2 in. (11 cm)

Gift of Lynn B. Cayot and Frederick T. Fuller (52.13)
Chinese and Korean Art Department.

Located at LACMA

Monday, October 15, 2012

SOUTHERN SONG DYNASTY: Tea Bowl (Chawan) with Sword-Pommel Pattern

Southern Song dynasty, 1127-1279
Ceramic, stoneware, Jizhou ware, Jizhou ware, wheel-thrown stoneware with dark brown glaze
Height: 1 15/16 in. (4.9 cm)
 Diameter: 4 9/16 in. (11.6 cm)

Gift of Howard K. Lee in appreciation of George Kuwayama (M.90.72.5)
Chinese and Korean Art Department.

Located at LACMA

Saturday, October 13, 2012

SOUTHERN SONG DYNASTY: Tea Bowl (Chawan) with Floral Sprays and Phoenixes

Southern Song dynasty, 1127-1279
Ceramic, Stoneware, Jizhou ware, Jizhou ware, wheel-thrown stoneware with paper-cut resist decoration and mottled brown glaze
Depth: 5 in. (12.7 cm)

Gift of Carl Holmes (58.49.19)
Chinese and Korean Art Department.

Located at LACMA

Thursday, October 11, 2012

JIN DYNASTY: Tea Bowl (Chawan) with Oil Spot Pattern

Jin dynasty, 1127-1234
Ceramic; Northern Black ware; Stoneware, Northern Black ware, wheel-thrown stoneware with mottled black glaze
3 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (8.26 x 3.81 cm)

Gift of Nasli M. Heeramaneck (M.73.48.136)
Chinese and Korean Art Department.

Located at LACMA

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

SONG DYNASTY: Tea Bowl (Chawan) with Leaf

Late Southern Song dynasty, about 1200-1279
Ceramic; Stoneware; Jizhou ware, Jizhou ware, wheel-thrown stoneware with natural leaf resist decoration and brown glaze
Height: 5 7/8 in. (14.92 cm)

Gift of Carl Holmes (58.49.5)
Chinese and Korean Art Department.

Located at LACMA

Sunday, October 7, 2012

EDO PERIOD: Tea Bowl with Decoration of Standing Cranes

The design on this vessel can be traced back to the ubiquitous cranes of Goryeo celadon, which have been filtered here through an Edo-period Japanese sensibility.
 Rokubei's tea bowl is, in fact, a copy of a late seventeenth century Busan-kiln product (export ware made in Korea according to Japanese specifications), and the model he reprised was itself a nod to earlier prototypes (Goryeo period celadon and fifteenth- and sixteenth-century revivalist celadon exported to Japan). 
The Kyoto master affirmed his place in this prestigious lineage by literally leaving his mark: his seal is stamped near the base.

Kiyomizu Rokubei I  (Japanese, 1737–1799)
Period: Edo period (1615–1868) 
Date: mid- to late 18th century 
Culture: Japan 
Medium: Stoneware with inlaid design (Kyoto ware) 
Dimensions: H. 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm); Diam. of rim 3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm); Diam. of foot 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm) Classification: Ceramic 
Credit Line: The Howard Mansfield Collection, Gift of Howard Mansfield, 1936 
Accession Number: 36.120.518a–e

This artwork is not on display

Found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Friday, October 5, 2012


  Hand carved Chinese jade cup with etched design throughout
18th/19th century
Measures 2 1/4" height (5.7cm)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


- Cloisonne teapot depicting Foo Dogs and Kylin on turquoise background
19th century
Measures 7 1/4" height (18.4cm)

Monday, October 1, 2012


The cover is 4-1/8 inches in diameter 
The flange for holding the cup is 1-5/8 inches wide and 1/2 inch high
The cup can rest either inside or outside the flange
 The stand is 3 inches high 
The cover is 2-3/4 inches
The finial is a green jade bead

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