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Guide to Early Chinese Ceramics

Ch'ing-pai Ware


Ch'ing-pai (bluish-white)—also called ying ch'ing (shadow blue)—refers to a type of popular early porcelain. It was created in the late tenth century from a fine white paste covered with a thin, lustrous glaze that ranged in color between light blue and white. First made at Ch'ing-te-chen in Kiangsi province, it was eventually manufactured at several southeastern kiln sites in Kiangsi, Chekiang, Hunan, Hupeh, Fukien, and Kwangtung provinces. Ch'ing-pai porcelain led to the introduction of blue-and-white, and from the tenth century on Ch'ing-te-chen would remain the center of porcelain production for China and much of the world.

Ch'ing-pai wares were immensely popular from Northern Sung (960-1127) through the Yuan dynasty (1280-1368). Objects ranged from crudely fashioned grave goods to exquisite eating utensils.

The highly plastic clay body allowed the creation of light, thin walled vessels with complex shapes that often incorporated molded, carved, and appliqué décor. The cool, bluish tint is accounted for in part by the reducing atmosphere given by the fuel, a locally abundant pine tree. While the new and exquisite shapes, with their subtle, pale-blue glazes were appreciated throughout China's middle and upper classes and in several foreign markets, ch'ing-pai was not greatly revered at court. Be this as it may, ch'ing-pai wares have been excavated from numerous tombs and kiln sites throughout China, the central plains, Inner Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.


Wine Cup and Stand
Wine Cup and Stand

 Small Bowl
Small Bowl

Wine Ewer and Basin

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