Xing yao bowls

Bowls (xing yao)
Tang dynasty (618–907 AD)
Porcelain, glaze (white)
1.75 in. high x 5.75 in. diameter
Gift of Chan Siu Kin

[click on images for larger view]

Ribbed jar (Longquan ware)
Yuan dynasty (1279–1368 AD)
Stoneware, glaze (celadon)
3.6 in. high x 5.25 in. diameter
Museum purchase
(formerly in the collection of
Ambassador Alexander Otto)

Barnacle pot

14th century (from Guangdong)
Stoneware, iron-oxide lead glaze,
sea growth
3 in. high x 3.25 in. diameter
Promised gift of
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Kendig


2 of 4

Section 2:

Distant Lands

Mr. Peters: How do you make these porcelains?

Mr. Yi: Ah, I'm afraid I can't let you in on these secrets. What I can tell you is that near the city of Jingdezhen we mine a special clay needed to make the finest porcelain and mix it with a powder ground from a secret stone. In the forests around us we have wood to fire our kilns, and we have the Chang River to carry our finished goods to markets all over the world. [visit Ceramic Secrets] [click on map for larger view]
Trade map
Our ancestors discovered many secrets that make our ceramics more beautiful and innovative than those found anywhere else in the world. For hundreds of years, merchants have traveled to China to sell their goods and buy our porcelain. [Visit Ceramic Secrets]

These simple white bowls were very popular in the Middle East and may have been made as early as AD 900. Bowls like these traveled by boat to Persia, Baghdad, and Arabia.

A favorite style of ceramic glaze in Korea and Japan is called celadon. Celadon is a European word that describes the beautiful color of this glaze—shades of green like bird's eggs or gray ash or sea foam. Speaking of the sea, ceramics are traded and carried throughout Asia by ship. This is a pot that sank along with a ship and its crew in the ocean off Thailand. See how it's encrusted with some strange growth from the sea?


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Updated 2/12/2001 Pacific Asia Museum  Copyright&Credits