Blue and white porcelain witness China-Iran friendship

China’s exchanges with the West Asian countries have the longest history and the most influential should be Iran.In the history of China-Iran exchanges, there is an article that plays an important role, that is blue-and-white porcelain.

On July 12,2005, at the Chinese ceramics auction held at Christie’s in London, Yuan Qing Hua’s” Ghost Valley Downhill Cans” sold for £1.5688m, or about RMB230m, including tax, making it the world’s highest auction record for Chinese art at the time.

A fish was found in a blue-and-white flower

Yuan Qing Hua is known as the most expensive porcelain in the world.But before 1950, no one knew the word “yuan qing hua”.At that time, the world knew only that there was a fine collection of porcelain hidden in the palaces of Turkey and Iran, but it did not know where it came from.

An american named popper saw the porcelain at the topkabi palace in istanbul, turkey, and confirmed it was made in the yuan dynasty of china.At that time, Chinese scholars did not agree, because the Palace Museum did not have a collection, nor did other Chinese museums.As a result of the Yuan blue and blue flower decoration complex, exotic customs thick, it is considered to be burned outside of China elsewhere.China’s blue-and-white porcelain was officially known in the Ming Dynasty.

When people at the National Museum of Iran saw a blue-and-white algal plate, it was finally confirmed that the blue-and-white porcelain for the Yuan Dynasty of China made!After careful study of the fish, people found that it had a Chinese character, Spring, to make sure they came from China!China’s Yuan Dynasty porcelain was found on a fish, hundreds of years before the blue-and-white porcelain was made.This fish is a priceless treasure!

Of course, there have been new discoveries in the past few decades, and the earliest blue-and-white porcelain specimens have been found in the Tang Dynasty.The mature blue-and-white porcelain appeared in Yuan Dynasty.Qing Hua became the mainstream of porcelain in Ming Dynasty.The period of Qing Kangxi reached its peak.

blue-and-white porcelain

>>>”Su Ma Li Qing” from Iran


Qāmsār, IranRose Festival

Iran not only has a large collection of blue-and-white porcelain, but also comes from Iran.The blue-and-white porcelain used in ancient China is divided into two kinds of imports and domestic.Imported green material named su ma leqing, a high-iron low-manganese cobalt material, is said to be the origin of the town of cassang,300 km south of tehran, garmsar, where rich rose water and rose essential oil, I have visited this town to interview cassang rose festival.But at the time it was not known that Su Ma was also produced here,60 years ago the cobalt mine has been abandoned, the mine also collapsed, but the two openings can also be seen.

Su Ma Li Qing is also known as Su Ni Ma Qing, Su Bo mud green, Su Ni Bo Qing, etc., referred to as” Su materials. “Experts disagree about its name and origin.Xu Ming, a researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, has visited Iran several times to study blue-and-white porcelain.”Su Ma Li Qing” is Soleimani’s ancient Chinese translation plus suffix “Qing”, missing the pronunciation of the Lei, the accurate translation should be “Sulaimani”.The material, produced only in Iran, was sold to China in the Yuan Dynasty.Liu Xinyuan, a ceramics expert at Jingdezhen, also supports the claim, which he argues is that Iranian artisans call cobalt ore “Sulaimani” and that the stone was discovered by Suleiman, “Sulaiman” exactly the same as” Quick Ran “in” Ming Shi Lu “.This is arsenic cobalt from Persia.Some experts also call su ma liqing a transliteration of smalt, an english version of blue glass from what was now samara, iraq, once the center of potting in the persian empire.It was also said that Ming Yongle and Xuande were used during the Soviet Union Zheng He went to the West from Indonesia Sumatra and Arab imports.My teacher, Professor Wen Yexun, put forward a new saying that “Sumani” comes from the Persian word Asemani, which means” sky blue “.The opinions vary from one to another.But the idea that mr su is from iran has been widely accepted.

The green flowers made of Su Ma Li Qing are thick green and stable in color, showing sapphire-like bright color under proper fire, and rust marks will appear.Most of the blue-and-white porcelain in the early Ming Dynasty used it to draw flowers and leaves. After the Ming Dynasty, it was gradually replaced by “Hui-qing”.According to researchers at Iran’s National Museum, cobalt shipped to China that year was more expensive than gold, “as measured by a small scale.”In the history of Jingdezhen, there were three periods, one was the late Yuan Dynasty, the other was the period of Hongwu in Ming Dynasty, the other was the period of Yongle and Xuande in Ming Dynasty.Among them, especially the blue-and-white porcelain of Yongxuan period is the largest and most representative.

A large number of new imitations and high imitations of porcelain appeared in the collection market after it became popular.We were once approached by people in Jingdezhen’s pottery industry, who wanted to help find ore materials in Iran for the production of sultan.In fact, this production of cobalt blue ore has been abandoned, it is impossible to find again.As far as we know, all the fine porcelain of Yuanming blue-and-white are in great use, and later this kind of green material was abandoned, and there are no substitutes in our country. So, whether or not we use it?It has become an important basis for the identification of Yuanming blue and white flowers in the world of collectors.

>>>The Persian Style of Blue-and-White Porcelain


     Blue is Iran’s favorite color

The colors and patterns of blue-and-white porcelain are deeply influenced by Persian culture.Yuan Qinghua is the product of the combination of the Central Plains culture, Mongolian culture and Persian culture. Its production and export are closely related to Iran and other Western Asian countries.The main color of the Yuan is blue-white, blue-white color is not the color advocated by the Han people, which is mainly influenced by Persian culture.

“Silk Road: A History of Chinese-Persian Cultural Exchange,” said Ali Mazahai, an Iranian-born French scholar. “Blue is the royal color of the Persian and Persian peoples.As a result, blue appears as a noble color at religious sites, palaces and funerals in the Islamic region.The domes, doorposts and exterior walls of mosques across the Islamic region are decorated in varying degrees with blue.

According to ancient Chinese documents, the peoples of the Western Regions, as well as the peoples of Central Asia and Western Asia, who had frequent contacts with them, were different in their understanding of the white color from that of the Han nationality, which took the white color as the “auspicious color”.After a long period of accumulation of the aesthetic tradition of blue and white, blue and white have become these ethnic groups to meet the needs of religion, kingship and custom.This is the main reason Central Asia, Islam and the Middle East like “blue and white porcelain”.

Blue and white porcelain was not popular in China at first.According to Cao Zhao’s account of “Ge Gu Yao Lun” in the Ming Dynasty, the gentry thought that the porcelain with “green” and “five-colored flowers” was very vulgar, and this kind of utensils with strong exotic style did not conform to the aesthetic habits of gentry in the atmosphere of farming culture.However, this assessment gradually changes over time.By the middle of the Ming Dynasty, people had begun to appreciate the blue-and-white porcelain and gave it a high evaluation.This shift of attitude has much to do with the growing prosperity of foreign exchanges.

>>>Aldabile Porcelain Houseless than


Visit the Porcelain House of Aldabielsafi Ding Cemetery in 2012

Photography:He Guanɡhai

       As a result of the age, preservation is not easy, and production at the beginning of the limit, the total number of survival is very little, so it has always been recognized as a rare treasure.The mainstream view is that there are only more than 300 flowers in the world,120 in China and about 200 overseas.However, this number is only the world’s major museums handed down, did not include a large number of true and false difficult to discern folk collections.


The largest collection of Yuanhua in the world is the Topkabi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey (43 pieces), followed by Iran’s National Museum (28 pieces), and my hometown of Jiangxi Gaoan Museum (19 pieces).I have had the pleasure of visiting all three museums, but the yuanqinghua is the treasure of their town, and it is not easy to show, ordinary viewers can only see the ming and qing dynasty blue-and-white porcelain.By comparison, the turkish palace’s collection of blue and white flowers is more perfect, beautiful, and well-known;Iran’s collection of blue-and-white porcelain is not known to the outside world.In fact, Turkey’s blue-and-white porcelain collection mainly from the Ottoman Empire’s capture of the war, mainly from neighboring Iran looted.

Aldabile Porcelain House

Visit the Porcelain House of Aldabielsafi Ding Cemetery in 2012

Photography:He Guanɡhai

As far as I know, some of the country’s great ceramics and archaeologists, such as Li Huiqiang, an expert on ancient ceramics in the Palace Museum, Xu Ming, a researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, a professor at Beijing University Wen Bo Yuan Qi Dongfang and a professor at Nanjing University, have visited the National Museum of Iran. Xu Ming also published a book, “Turkey, Iran’s collection of Yuanqinghua visit personal history.”Most of the blue-and-white porcelain collected at Iran’s National Museum comes from the porcelain house of the Aldabil Safir Din cemetery, which I have visited twice.Unfortunately, domestic experts do not know much about this place, Xu Ming’s monograph did not mention.The Chinese blue-and-white porcelain of Iran should not be missed.


Ardabil is located in the Azerbaijani region of northwest Iran, not far from Tahburis, Iran’s famous star Ali Day is the Aldabil.There are four distinct seasons, beautiful scenery, hot springs are very famous.In addition to the thousands of chinese porcelain that the ottoman turks plucked away, some of them were shipped to tehran’s national museum, as well as the museums of isfahan, shiraz and dabriz.


Iran’s Azerbaijani region is an earthquake-prone region, and after the war, Aldabil’s porcelain to escape natural and man-made disasters today, can be considered a miracle.Why are there so many well-preserved Chinese blue-and-white porcelain here, and where do they come from?

Al-Dabil is the place of the Saffir dynasty in Iran, which originated from the “Safite Order” which was very popular in Azerbaijan in the 14th century. The cemetery built after the death of Safir Din, the founder of the group, has become a famous world cultural heritage in Iran.His descendants, Ismail I, founded the Saffir dynasty in 1502 and established the capital, Dabriz.The Safii dynasty flourished during the reign of Mahmoud Abbas, and in September 1611 he donated 1162 pieces of porcelain from his collection to the tomb of Safie Din.To this end, the cemetery specially built porcelain houses, the collection in addition to the donation of the Great Abbas, as well as some of the Safii aristocracy and important officials of the collection.


So far, the 400-year-old Cemetery and Porcelain House in Safi Ding, an earthquake-prone area, have been hit by earthquakes of magnitude 7 or above. Although there is no great loss of porcelain in the collection, we can still see signs of damage to the interior buildings when we visit.Perhaps because of the earthquake and the war, the Iranian government later decided to move some of the collection to other places, but a considerable number of blue-and-white porcelain remained.

Some of the porcelain was given to Abbas by the Chinese emperor for the restoration of the Silk Road, and some was ordered by the Iranian government from China. The porcelain arrived in Isfahan and was stamped by local craftsmen as” King Abbas, “according to an interpreter. Then it was sent to Aldabil.Iranian friends joked that, unlike other museums, none of the Chinese porcelain was looted.During the reign of Abbas the Great, during the reign of the Great Ming Dynasty, blue-and-white porcelain witnessed the friendly exchanges between the two great powers in Asia and the East.

Castles de Portugal, Gershm, Iran

The land-based Silk Road gradually declined after the Song Dynasty, so the porcelain donated by Abbas probably passed through the Silk Road at sea.Iran’s largest port, the port of Apaz, was named in memory of the powerful emperor.When Zheng He made seven voyages, he visited Khormuz three times. Some believed that Khorumos was the Persian state at that time, and some believed that Khorumos was the port of Abas, Geshm and other areas near the Strait of Hormuz.I worked for a time on the island of Gershm, where there is a famous historic site called the Portuguese Castle, but Mr. Zhu Jintang, a Silk Road research expert, said after a field visit that the castle was in Chinese style. Probably the temporary command post of Zheng He’s voyage.According to historical records, Zheng He once stayed 82 days in Kurumos, making it a base for his activities.

Jiangxi Gaoan Museum. ..a collection of blue and white flowers.


Finally, I’d like to make a CALL for my hometown, Jiangxi Gaoan Museum.As mentioned in the preceding article, Gaoan City Museum has collected 19 precious Yuanqing flowers, the number of the first in China, the third in the world.In November 1980, a collection of 245 cultural relics, including 19 Yuan-Qing-hua, was discovered at a construction site in Gaoan County.This is the largest number of Yuan flowers unearthed in China, then set off a wave of Yuan blue flowers research in China.If you can’t go to Iran and Turkey for the time being, welcome to Gaoan, my hometown, to see the Yuanqing Flower.