A Retrospective Study of the Origin of Yuan Blue and White Porcelain

After the status of Yuan Qing-hua was recognized, it was natural for people to trace its origin and evolution history.Why would the Yuan Dynasty suddenly appear such a mature blue-and-white porcelain?Some scholars pursue the origin from the history of the development of ceramics in their own country, and from the fact that Persia used cobalt blue in its early years, they believe that the Yuan blue flowers were mainly produced under the influence of the Persian cobalt blue.

There are three main elements of mature blue-and-white porcelain:

White porcelain tyre and pure transparent glaze.

The use of cobalt material to produce a blue pattern.

Grasp the technology of underglaze color painting.

Until the 1970 s, no new archaeological data had been found, so it was not fully understood when China began to mature and master the process of colouring cobalt under glaze.In recent years, this problem has been solved by the discovery of clear, bright-colored, clear-cut fragments of Tang blue and white flowers from the ruins of Tangcheng, Yangzhou.This kind of Tang Qing Hua has been sold abroad at that time.

In the 9-10 century, many countries in the Middle East imported Tang blue-and-white porcelain from China. This kind of new porcelain-making craft certainly gave great attraction to local pottery-making craftsmen. At present, there are some local imitations in some big museums in the world. For example, Washington’s Flyer Museum has 9-10 century Iraq’s blue-and-white bowl, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has 9-century Iran’s western region of the production of blue-and-white bowl and 9-century Iraq’s burning.The boston museum has 9-10 th century azaleas bowl, but these objects firing temperature is not high, the fetal quality is thick loose, the glaze is not transparent, all belong to half porcelain half pottery property.Obviously, it was produced by imitating the firing process of Tang Qinghua at that time.

The blue-and-white porcelain piece discovered in Tangcheng, Yangzhou, should be the product of Gongxian Kiln in Henan Province.Gong County is also a famous pottery kiln in the Tang Dynasty, and the blue color in the Tang Dynasty is made of cobalt.In fact, as early as the Spring and Autumn Period, Warring States era ceramic beads on the blue color is the use of cobalt as a reagent example.

With the decline of Gongxian kiln, the technology of firing blue-and-white porcelain in Tang Dynasty was temporarily interrupted.Although the blue-and-white porcelain (including the complete flower bowl and 13 pieces of fragments of the existing Wenguan Society of Wenzhou, Jiangxin Temple, Wenzhou) was discovered in Taji, Longquan Sands, Zhejiang Province, in the early Song Dynasty (1265), it was also found in the first year of Xianchun (1265) of Shaoxing Song Dynasty.

But these Zhejiang-made blue-and-white porcelain, its embryo, glaze and blue-and-white color can not be compared with Gong County’s Tang Qinghua.In the 1970s, some blue-and-white porcelain was also found in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, Jiujiang, and Nanchang, Jiangxi Province.But their common characteristics are the application of blue and white glaze is not typical of the transparent blue and white glaze, its blue and white colors are gray and dark rather than bright dark blue.

The emergence of mature blue-and-white porcelain with clean glaze and brilliant blue-and-white colors is estimated to have reignited in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, when the technology of firing green flowers at the Gongxian kiln in Henan province, which had been interrupted for almost four centuries in the 1920s and 1930s. It is a repeat of history at a higher stage, and what has contributed to it is still the need to export to the Middle East.The pottery industry in the Middle East, after the 10th century, for the underglaze color, especially the production of blue and white flowers have not been interrupted, from the passing of material objects, the French Museum in the United States, Iran in the 12th-13th century green glaze blue and white glaze blue and white glaze blue and white flower bowl.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a blue-and-white ware from Iraq at the end of the 11th century and a blue-, green-and-white bowl and platter under Iran’s glaze in the 14th century.However, due to the poor raw materials of tyres and glazes in the Middle East and the low firing temperature, the quality level of China’s blue-and-white porcelain was never reached. With the development of the government’s foreign contacts in the Yuan Dynasty, the demand for Chinese blue-and-white porcelain was re-aroused in the Middle East. However, Jingdezhen, where the floating beam porcelain bureau is located, took advantage of cobalt earth ore imported from the Middle East to produce large quantities of blue-and-white porcelain for export.This kind of goods that begin to be produced for export will inevitably be needed by the domestic market, which is the background of the great development of the blue-and-white porcelain in Jingdezhen in Yuan Dynasty.