Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Chinese Porcelain


Yixing 1650-1900


Page 1

Like the kilns in Dehua that made blanc de chine, the factories in Yixing in Jiangsu Province also specialised in a rather exclusive product of their own, namely red stoneware. The local clay had a high iron oxide content resulting in the unglazed objects being dark red, brown or even purple. Fired at a high temperature, these pieces were impermeable and glazing was avoided so as to emphasise the structure and colour of the surface. Yixing is famous for its teapots; these are known to preserve the fragrance of the tea very well. The variety of Yixing teapots is amazing and is due to the clay having such plasticity that many different shapes, even sharply angular, could be made. Usually moulds were used to shape the objects and the decorations that were applied in relief. Decorations could also be incised and sometimes comprise long poems or dedications. Apart from teapots, many other objects were made in Yixing for the domestic Chinese market. To a lesser extent the potters also produced for export and Yixing teapots were highly valued in Europe. However, Western shapes are extremely scarce, while Yixing with Western decorations seems to be non-existant. Sometimes Yixing is enhanced with gold, but we are still uncertain if this was done in Europe or in China. It is remarkable that these well-finished pieces are often marked with the name of a workshop or potter's family, an exception in Chinese ceramics. Dates are rare, however. After a period of neglect Yixing craftsmanship was revived in the second half of the 20th century. A continuously changing assortment made by highly creative potters today is available in Yixing.

Currently there are no Yixing 1650-1900 wares for sale.