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Glamorgan Antiques Newsletter

Special Edition Newsletter # 3 - ORIENTAL

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Welcome all to this 3rd Special Edition newsletter from Glamorgan antiques.We hope that it will appeal to all lovers of Oriental, whether newcomers or more experienced Collectors.Anyway, the learning process in Antiques never ends,we all get to be more experienced but we never stop learning.

"Oriental special edition".

The Sung,Ming and Ching Dynasties.

Glamorgan Antiques has a stock of Oriental Items which you can view HERE

This is a special Oriental edition that you, the customers have requested us to write about .This we have tried to do, as Oriental Ceramics are without doubt the most amazing and misunderstood of all ceramics.

1./The Sung Dynsasty 960 -1279

The Sung dynasty produced some of the most beautiful shapes and glazes of all pottery.It excelled particularly in felspathic stonewares of a more or less porcellaneous nature,characteristic of which are the Lungchuan and Northern celadons, with their serene forms and soft jade green depths of colour.Also of this kind are the rare Imperial Kuan,or Ko and Ju wares, and the opalescent blue and purple Chun.Most attractive are the brown and black glazes of Honan and Tzu Chou in the North, and the Chien ware teabowls from Southerly Fukien.All the above owe their colour principally to the presence of iron under varied kiln conditions.Among the vigorously shaped stonewares of Tzu Chou are those with skilful carved decoration relieving white,brown or green glazes, and then on others bold painting of flowers in brown.Incised designs of plants and animals are also a feature of much Sung pottery.The Southern sung succeeded the Northern with the removal of the capital from Honan to Chekiang in 1127,to avoid barbarian invaders.The irresistable onslaught of Ghengis Khan was,none the less to result in the establishment of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty 1279 - 1368.
by his famous descendant Kublai. An important Yuan ware was the Shu Fu porcelain,decorated with designs in low relief.With the adoption of painting in underglaze blue and the rise of the porcelain factories of Ching te Chen, a radical change in taste was now taking place.

2./The Ming Dynasty 1368 - 1644

The Ming dynasty which began by overthrowing the Mongols, gave strong patronage to the porcelain industry and in place of the variety of Sung wares and glazes,there developed a more or less standardized porcelain body as a vehicle for brilliantly coloured decoration.Ming glazes tend to be thick and "fat".Always popular,painting in underglaze blue was it's finest in the Hsuan Te and Cheng Hua periods,since regarded as classic for perfection of material and harmonious proportion of forms and decoration.During the latter period painting in coloured, requiring a 2nd,low temperature firing, is found in the delicate tou tsai class.In the 16th century the Red and green family became conspicuous; but the Chi Ching and Wan li periods are further noted for many rich combinations of enamels,including with these colours yellow and turquoise.A rich violet blue distinguishes the best blue and white of Chia Ching.The Wan li or 5 colour decoration,employing overglaze enamels was to remain prominent until the reign of Kang Hsi.In the decoration of Ming porcelain much use was made of scrolling floral designs and flying dragons and phoenixes, all taken from silk brocades, also pictorial scenes of landscapes and garden terraces with children.In later periods their execution becomes careless and sloppy.Exports of blue and white were very considerable,however and the crisp porcelains brought to Europe from 1600 and boldly painted Transitional wares may be very pleasing.The finer Ming wares are almost as rare as the Sung.Apart from Ching te chen wares, the Sung celadon and Tzu Chou wares, which declined in quality and the Canton wares and Yi hsing stoneware, as well as the Blanc de Chine porcelain of Fukien,deserve a mention.

Ching Dynasty 1644 - 1912.

Under wise patronage the declining porcelain industry acquired new life during the long reign of Kang Hsi 1662 - 1722, and it's creations were realised with superb craftsmanship, which continued under his sons, Yung Chen and Chien lung. \\\The nobility and masculine elegance of the Kang Hsi style is exmplified in the forms of the Rouleau vases and trumpet vases, and the same strong shouldered contours are also noted. The ware now used was a most refined white porcelain, thinly and evenly glazed and with a meticulous finish, showing painted decoration to great advantage.For the best of the very numerous blue and white wares a brilliant sapphire blue was preferred, and designs first drawn in outline and then washed in boldly, using broad tones, are more precisely executed than before.For enamelled wares the brilliant Famille Verte palette with it's dominating greens and iron red, soon replaced that of the Ming 5 coloured style.The Famille Verte enamels gave way to those of the Famille rose with it's prominent rose pink, which was introduced from Europe.Thin egg shell plates and bowls were adorned with delicately drawn flowers or ladies..From this time we see the wares with designs of Armorial Coats of Arms copied from European prints, or with coats of Arms supplied to order.Much was exported.

Because of forgeries and repetitions the evidence of marks on Chinese porcelain is very unreliable.Calligraphy is very highly regarded in China, and the finest items were carefully inscribed.Marks remained unusual until the Ming dynasty when the 6 character mark generally written on the base within a double ring became fairly common.These are the translations of some of the marks
TA >great
Hsuan te > the reign name of the Emporer
The 4 character mark omitting the first 2 characters is for Cheng Hua.Most Ming marks are written in underglaze blue.
Modern imitations of 18th Century Chinese Porcelain painted with coats of arms have been made in large quantities.Those made at Herend in Hungary are not so plentiful as those of Samson of Paris.

Glamorgan Antiques has a stock of Oriental Items which you can view HERE

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