Chinese Antique Glossary – K

Kaolin

This is the name given to white-firing China clay used for making porcelain. The name derives from that of the Gaoling hills, from where the China clay used at the Jingdezhen kilns was obtained.

Kraak porselein

This term is applied to porcelain, mainly decorated in underglaze cobalt blue, which was exported to Europe in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The name derives from the Dutch, and is a reference to the type of cargo ship, carrack, in which these porcelains were transported from Asia by the Portuguese.

Kui dragon

A creature seen in the decoration of Chinese bronzes from the Shang dynasty, which became a popular motif on archaistic wares in a variety of media. The dragon, which has a turned-up snout, is always shown in profile with only one leg visible.