Qingbai wine ewer and basin

From southern China
Song dynasty (11th-12th century AD)

Delicately coloured and intricately carved

Qingbai ('blue-white') and yingqing ('shadow blue') wares take their name from the cool blue colour of their glaze, as produced at Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province, south-eastern China, from the tenth century. Much of the early production imitated northern white wares in shape and decoration, particularly the Ding wares of Hebei province. The different firing processes yield the very different colour tones.

Qingbai wares are known for the pure, sugary quality of the porcelain body. Another important feature is the way that the glaze pools, which shows incised decoration to great effect. This can be seen in this wine ewer and warming basin.

Two very similar ewer-and-basin sets appear in the late Song painting in the Beijing Palace Museum, The Night Revels of Han Xizai, which is a copy of the lost tenth-century original by Gu Hongzhong, one of the most famous paintings in Chinese art history.

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Qingbai wine ewer and basin

  • Wine ewer in basin

    Wine ewer in basin

 

More information

Bibliography

S.J. Vainker, Chinese pottery and porcelain, (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)

J. Rawson (ed.), The British Museum book of Chi (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)

Dimensions

Height: 25.500 cm

Museum number

Asia OA 1936.10-12.153.a, b, c

RRC9606;RRC9607;RRC9608

Location

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