Are you curious about the Age, Origin or Authenticity of your Antique Chinese or Japanese porcelain? Maybe you want a second opinion before you buy or sell something; or want to know more about a family heirloom? Welcome to e-mail me directly for a quick answer at
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Today 04:45pm haha, it's all for a good cause, we hope, as our partners silently fume ...
Today 12:33pm Dear Giel, That's a very nice and interesting pair of vases. As Geoff ...
Today 11:58am Great find. Congratulations. ...
Today 03:44pm [Pots.jpg] ...
Explanations and illustrations of our most common terms used to describe antique Chinese and Japanese porcelain. Visit Glossary.
Further down on this page is a large Q&A Porcelain Info section with previously submitted Quick Email Question. Search this first. Maybe your question is already answered. Otherwise please see Quick e-mail Consultation on how to submit your own questions. For collectors with a wide interest in Chinese and Japanese ceramics, join our Discussion Board
An ever growing list of good books on antique Japanese and Chinese Pottery and Porcelain. There are many good books out there. This section will just show a few recent and a few classics that in my view deserve a place in any collector's library.Porcelain Books
Originally owned by the old Swedish East India Company trading to China 1731-1813, and how the idea of building a replica came to be realized. From the original research, to wreck site excavation, rebuilding, sailing to China and arrival back.The Gotheborg III Ship Adventure
The Swedish exhibition of Chinese pottery and porcelain in the 'Forbidden City' (Gugong), Beijing 2005
During September to December 2005 a Swedish sponsored exhibition of Chinese pottery and porcelain was held at the Wumen Exhibition Hall in the Forbidden City (The Gugong, or Old Palace Museum) in Beijing.
The exhibition highlighted the long history of peaceful relations and exchange between Sweden and China, from J G Andersson discovering the Chinas Neolithic past to The East Indiaman Gotheborg ship excavation, rebuilding and new China voyage.
The exhibition focus on the excavation of the East Indiaman Gotheborg and Chinese Armorial porcelain and special porcelain made to order of the Swedish East India Company but also highlight Neolithic pottery and extremely rare Imperial wares such as Ru ware in the Swedish Röhss Museum Collection. Welcome to browse the on-line version of the catalog here.
The Belitung (Tang or Batu Hitam) shipwreck sank on its way back from China around 830 AD. The ship contained untold treasures of gold and silver and the first Chinese underglaze blue and white dish known to mankind.
A large proportion of the most important finds were exhibited at the Asian Civilisation's Museum in Singapore, in 2016.
Only a few yards from this spot at the river banks of the Chang River, flowing through the city of Jingdezhen, the Chinese Imperial kiln was built during the Yuan dynasty. During 700 years this factory produced the best porcelain in the world and became the porcelain factory of the entire world well into the 18th century.
During the centuries all kinds of Chinese porcelain shards and kiln debris has been dumped and discarded as the city grew. So much in fact that the city of Jingdezhen are now said to rest on a thick layer of porcelain shards, 30 feet deep or more in places, we were told.
In 1992 I was invited to take part in a study expedition to visit the excavations of the former Imperial Porcelain Kiln, together with Professor Bo Gyllensvärd and two friends. Here is my diary and some of the results and photos from the visit.
Click here to visit my report from Visit to Jingdezhen 1992
During 2006 I had the pleasure to, together with the Gotheborg III Ship project friends and co-founders Anders and Berit Wästfelt, visit Guangzhou and also take the opportunity to visit the not much visited but very important city of Fushan and the Nanfeng kilns in Shiwan. The staple town for tea and porcelain enamels during the 18th century.
This is the origin of the old Kwangtung wares and the heavily glazed tiles, pots and masterly sculpted figures. Well known from late Ming, popular during Qing and very much alive until today.
Welcome to visit Shiwan with me.
The 17th of July 2006 the rebuilt replica of the first 'East Indiaman Götheborg' arrived at Boca Tigris in the Pearl River delta outside Canton, to later move up to the old anchorage at 'Whampoa', to come to rest opposite the White Swan Hotel in the center of today's Guangzhou (Canton).
The entire project of recreating an 18th century Swedish East Indiaman and sending her to China again and back was all started as a private project by a small group of enthusiastic professionals, based on the excavation of the original East Indiaman Gotheborg.
In July 2006 the rebuilt Swedish East Indiaman 'Gotheborg' Ship finally arrived in Guangzhou, China, or Canton as it was known as during the time of the Swedish East India trade.
Since I had been involved in the starting of the project to build and sail a full scale replica of the East Indiaman Götheborg to China, I also really wanted to explore the City of Canton to see what was left from the early days of the China trade, when we eventually arrived. To my help to use as a map, I had a rare Chinese export porcelain dish - with its main motif, a painting of the old City of Canton ...
The dish in itself is from the end of the 18th century but portrays the inner part of the city, behind the European factories located at the river side.
The exact source for this painting still remain to be found, but in the collection of the China Castle in Stockholm, Sweden, dating to the 1740s there is an album leaf which shows a high degree of similarities. [ more ]
In May 2002 I mentioned to some friends in Singapore, that I was planning to visit Southeast Asia again to among other things visit the very important historic trade city of Malacca on the west coast of Malaysia,
The pace of life in Singapore is fast and one hour later I got a call back. Everything was arranged. They would take the day off and if I could sleep for four hours after arrival in Singapore we would leave for Malacca by car at 4 am in the morning, so we would lose the morning traffic and have better driving temperature and that it would only take some three hours of driving anyway ...
So, I arrived after some 20 hours of air flight from Sweden via Amsterdam. A few hours later I was whisked off to Malaysia - still fast asleep - to wake up to breakfast and Kopi-O (black coffee without milk) just a few hundred meters from where a beautiful Ming princess and her tourage was set ashore to marry the Sultan of Malacca some 500 years earlier. Which was one of the reasons why I wanted to see this place ...
Click here to follow me to Malacca, Malaysia, in May 2002.
A while ago I visited Bali in an attempt to look for traces of the old Majapahit Kingdom.
While the historic center of the Majapahit Kingdom had been located at the eastern end of the just nearby Java Island, Bali was to me of equal interest. Somewhat I also hoped that more of the old culture would had remained through the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, still predominant in Bali since much of the actual downfall of the Majapahit had been contemporary with Islam becoming the dominating belief on Java.
What I found was a beautiful Island, fairly modern and very friendly, and a local Terracotta Pottery and Kiln, still very much functioning, putting out large terracotta Jardinières for flowers and garden decorations. In was interesting to see how these large pots were made from the mud up to finished lead glazed pots, taller than men.
Visit Bali with me.
During March 3-12, 2001 I had the pleasure of visiting Singapore and Hong Kong. The purpose of the visit was to deepen my understanding of the Straits Chinese Porcelain and the related culture.
I also wanted to study 19th and 20th century Chinese porcelain, products of less known "provincial" trade porcelain kilns in Southern China, and to get a first hand impression on the trade in antique Chinese porcelain fakes, to visit several important scholars and collectors in the area, to learn and to take part of their specific knowledge.
Here is a short travel report to summarize some of my thoughts.
Click here to read the report from my Visit to Singapore and Hong Kong, March 2001
In September 2001 I got an invitation to visit the base camp of Sten Sjöstrand's marine archaeological and salvage expedition in Malaysia. I did and I am back. After a much needed shower and some rest I put together the following report.
I got to see piles of Si-Satchanalai (Sawankhalok district, Sukhothai) pieces, still in storage from the excavation of the Royal Nanhai 16th century cargo of Celadon ceramics - plus the very reason of my visit - a surface sample collection from the recently discovered 19th century and possibly "Straits Chinese" cargo. Now that can't be said to have been the case, but it was interesting anyway.
An underwater visit to the Desaru wreck site, Malaysia 2000
Click here to read my letter to the friends on the Gotheborg Forum after my Visit to Sten Sjöstrand off Tioman Island, Malaysia, Sept. 2001
In November 1920, immediately after that the Chinese Empire had fallen and the Imperial Porcelain Factory had been turned into a private venture, Frank B. Lenz visited Jingdezhen.
His report was published together with photos by the author, in the November 1920 issue of The National Geographic Magazine.
This entire article is available here.
Director of the Imperial Factory at Jingdezhen, in obedience to an Imperial edict... (1743). Full text, with photo illustrations from Jingdezhen 1991-92.
Tang Ying 唐英 (1682-1756) was the Superintendent of the Imperial Porcelain Factory in Jingdezhen from 1736-53. S. W. Bushell translated his text written for the Qianlong Emperor, into English in 1899. The original illustrations have never been found. The current text is illustrated when applicable with my own photos taken during my time in Jingdezhen with Professor Bo Gyllensvärd 1991-92.
The Letters of Père d'Entrecolles (1664-1741) here for the first time translated, commented and available in full on-line.
Being a French Jesuit missionary while spending some time in Jingdezhen Father d'Entrecolles got to know the porcelain industry of the early 18th century well. His reports was sent to and published in Europe in 1712 and 1722.
These two Letters of Pere d'Entrecolles are the most important accounts we have on the Chinese porcelain manufacturing in the early Qing dynasty.
Q&A Porcelain Info Section with pictures of Chinese and Japanese porcelains, popular styles, shapes and decorations. This is a sample selection of our replies to our visitors emailed questions. These plus our Dictionary and porcelain Marks section are all searchable via the Search box. Please see Quick e-mail Consultation on how to submit your own questions. For collectors of antique Chinese and Japanese ceramics wanting a community of friends to talk to, welcome to join our Forum.
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