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Yaozhou Celadon Wares

The Yaozhou kilns were established during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD); their product line included celadon, black, and white porcelain. From the Five Dynasties Period to the early Song Dynasty, these kilns were influenced by the Yu, Yao, and Yue kilns, and developed celadon with engraved designs. The surviving Yaozhou kiln site was found at Huangbao Town, Tongchuan City in Shannxi Province. In the old days, this area belonged to the Yaozhou government. Its products are distinguished by the three development stages.

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Celadon Porcelain History

Celadon ceramics are a type of pottery produced in ancient China. This unique porcelain required relatively high firing temperatures, which called for kilns with sophisticated designs and excellent temperature-retaining characteristics, as well as suitable fuel to generate sufficient heat. Secondly, mastery of selection of porcelain-quality clay and the production and application of high temperature glaze was required.

One cannot discuss Celadon without mentioning the special ‘dragon kilns’ in which Celadon wares were produced. According to archaeological findings, this type of kiln first appeared during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) in the city of Zeng in the Guangdong Province. Later, there was the East Han Dynasty dragon kiln in the Shanglu area of Zhejiang Province, which is better known today.

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Kinrande Wares

Kinrande (meaning “gold brocade”) is a style of porcelain popularised in China during the middle years of the Ming Dynasty. This style became a popular export to Japan and was distinct for its dazzling, intricate and colourful decoration. It was called “gold brocade” in reference to textiles woven through with gold thread to produce a luxurious gold pattern on a coloured ground. This technique however, did not originate in the Ming period, rare porcelains from the Ding kilns of the earlier Song Dynasty already featured golden decorations.

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The Eight Immortals (Ba Xian)

The Eight Immortals (Ba Xian)

One of the most popular Chinese decoration subjects are the Eight Immortals of the Dao religion. The Immortals (either separately or as a group) are legendary figures in Chinese mythology, equivalent of saints in western religion. The term ‘Eight Immortals’ is used to signify or represent happiness, and the number 8 is considered lucky by association, therefore objects or persons in that number are graced accordingly.

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Monochrome Porcelains Of The 18th Century

The monochrome porcelains and biscuit-fired wares of the Qing period are relatively uniform throughout, and can therefore be treated together – not separately by reign, as opposed to the polychrome porcelains, where each reign has its inherent character. The key to the beauty of these pieces, much appreciated in both China and Europe at that time, lies in their technical accomplishment, in the brilliance and finesse of the colours, and the quality and texture of the glaze. All the glazes and enamels are vitrified coverings based on various elements (copper, iron, lead, manganese oxide, etc.), and are best classified according to the firing temperature.

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