Qingbai Ware: Chinese Porcelain of the Song and Yuan Dynasties

Scott, Rosemary; Barnes, Amy Jane; Nikles, Estelle; Teo, Catherine and Pierson, Stacey eds. (2002). Qingbai Ware: Chinese Porcelain of the Song and Yuan Dynasties. London: Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art.


Qingbai ware, or Yingqing ware as it is commonly known, is perhaps one of the most under appreciated ceramics in the Chinese ceramic tradition. It is not one of the wu wei ci, or five classic wares of the Song dynasty. It was not made exclusively for imperial use and its decorative styles and techniques were largely borrowed from other wares such as Ding and Yaozhou wares. With the exception of Jingdezhen, where it was primarily made, it also has not drawn much interest from archaeologists. This is unfortunate because, as we will see, qingbai ware is in fact one of the most successful ceramic types produced in China and was emulated at numerous kilns in many different regions. Very high quality qingbai wares were produced in the Song period which are today some of the finest early porcelains produced in China. Qingbai was also the basis from which Jingdezhen blue and white porcelain was developed and as recent research shows, this ware was noted in ancient records and was buried in hoards and tombs of the Song and Yuan dynasties. In fact, it was considered valuable enough when it was first made that several qingbai wares can be found in the original holdings of the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

The history of this ware is fairly straightforward but has not been presented in monograph form in English before. In order to show the complete picture of qingbai production, the history of its manufacture needs to be reconstructed and its forms, decoration and patronage need also to be illustrated. This volume will present these issues along with over 100 colour illustrations of some of the best and most interesting qingbai wares in collections around the world, many of which have not been published before.

Essays have been contributed from both doctoral students of Chinese ceramics as well as established specialists in the field. Summaries of these essays as well as the catalogue entries have also been provided in Chinese. For reasons of space, this catalogue concentrates on Qingbai ware for the Chinese domestic market and on examples made at Jingdezhen. It is hoped that this catalogue will inspire further research on export wares and the products of other kilns.

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