Ancient China Porcelain

The Ancient Chinese porcelain is considered to be some of the most interesting and exciting Chinese masterpieces.

The first pieces of porcelain were made during the Han Dynasty and most of the porcelain is known because it has beautiful colors and shapes.

Where was Porcelain Created?

The first Ancient Chinese porcelain was created in China in the Han Dynasty.  It was used and considered to be very important art for the Chinese people.

This type of art continued through many of the different Chinese dynasties and it stopped with the Qing Dynasty.

It is thought that porcelain was made from firing the materials to a certain temperature and making the porcelain strong.

What Made Porcelain Popular?

There are a few things that happened that caused porcelain to become so popular during Ancient Chinese times.

The first thing that happened was that tea became not only a drink, but a necessity.

Since this drink became so popular, people needed something to drink it out of and porcelain was the perfect thing.

Another thing that sparked the production of porcelain was the trade and exporting.  During the Ancient Chinese times, trade became very popular.

Since porcelain was so durable and beautiful, it was a popular thing to trade.

Porcelain was considered very valuable and people would trade top dollar in order to get nice pieces of porcelain.

Porcelain Dish

What was Chinese Porcelain Made From?

The Ancient Chinese porcelain was made from different types of materials.  Many of these materials included:  quartz, alabaster, bone, glass, ash and even clay.

One important material that was readily used in Ancient Chinese was a type of clay material that was known as kaolin.  This material was found in small villages throughout China.

What Did the Chinese Use Porcelain For?

The Ancient Chinese used porcelain for many reasons, but one of the greatest reasons was for trade and exporting.

Some of the first recorded exporting of porcelain goes all the way back to the Han Dynasty.

Many Ancient Chinese people traded porcelain along the Silk Road.  This was a place where people would trade their goods for other things such as food and material.

Ancient Chinese Porcelain

During Ancient Chinese times, the royal families or the imperial families would be the ones that would get the first choice on what porcelain they wanted, but not everyone was able to sell to the imperial family.

Only some people were allowed to be “royal kilns” which means that they were considered to be of the highest status of porcelain makers.

They had to be given the title of “royal kilns” just to be able to sell the porcelain to the imperial family.

Yellow Dragon Jar

How Do You Know if the Porcelain is from Ancient China?

When people in Ancient China would make porcelain, they were required by law to put a stamp or mark on it.

The mark would be which dynasty they were from and who was the emperor at the time that it was made.

What City is Most Famous for Making Porcelain?

The most important city that made porcelain in Ancient Chinese was the Jingdezhen city.  This city was given their name from the Jingde emperor of the Song Dynasty.

This city is known for making porcelain that is blueish white and it was usually made for the emperor.

More Facts About Ancient Chinese Porcelain:

  • Dehua porcelain was used for religious and ritual uses.
  • Jingdezhen was considered the favorite porcelain of the empire.
  • Yue celadon, or the green porcelain of Zhejiang was also one of the favorite types of porcelain.
  • Jingdezhen became the center of the porcelain making because there were many kaolin deposits in the town that were needed to make the best porcelain.
  • The Ancient Chinese porcelain was divided into two categories:  white porcelain or black porcelain.
  • Porcelain can last for thousands of years because it is so strong and durable.
  • People that created and decorated porcelain were considered to be very important artists.
  • Porcelain making changed the way that people viewed art in Ancient China.  This became a very important job for many people and helped the villages to make a living.
  • During the Ming Dynasty, blue and white vases were considered to be very important and they were sold to people that were of high class.

Celadon Bowl

What Did You Learn?

  • When was the first porcelain invented?  The first porcelain was invented during the Han Dynasty.
  • When was the last piece of porcelain of Ancient Chinese created?  The creation of porcelain started with the Han Dynasty and ended with the Qing Dynasty.
  • What city is considered the most important city for porcelain production?  The Jingdezhen city is the most important city for porcelain production.
  • Why was Jingdezhen the most important porcelain making city?  The city of Jingdezhen was the most important city for making porcelain because it had a lot of kaolin that was needed to make the porcelain.
  • What were the two categories of porcelain?  White porcelain and black porcelain were the two categories of porcelain.