Ceramic Finds from Jingdezhen Kilns
By: Liu Xinyuan

Imperial Chinese Porcelain

This massive hard bound book is the catalog of a joint exhibition, between the Jingdezhen Institute of Ceramic Archeology and the Fung Ping Shan Museum, the University of Hong Kong in 1992.

The book includes a report on the excavation work that from the 1970 and onwards was made under the direction of Prof. Liu Xinyuan. The report covers the first period of ceramic activity during the Five Dynasties when mostly Yue green wares was imitated; over the Song dynasty when the industry stared to boom and the later development into Ming times. The main emphasis is on the early history and Song, some on Yuan and the touching upon the Ming dynasty in general.

Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society

Chinese Porcelain (in general) // Imperial Chinese Porcelain

Transactions (OCS, London)

Begun with an unnumbered issue for 1921/22, it is published annually. Many of the articles are studies on Chinese ceramics, but also on other aspects of Chinese and Asian art. The entire series as well as individual issues are unequaled sources of scholarly discourse on Chinese ceramics. Highly recommended.

Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society,
ISSN 0306-0926. London: The Society, 1923-

April 4th, 2008

Elegant Form and Harmonious Decoration:
Four Dynasties of Jingdezhen Porcelain
By: Rosemary E. Scott

Imperial Chinese Porcelain

Elegant Form and Harmonious Decoration
Elegant Form & Harmonious Decoration:
Four Dynasties of Jingdezhen Porcelain
(Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art: Colloquies on Art And Archaeology in Asia)

Elegant Form and Harmonious DecorationCatalog of the anniversary exhibition at the Foundation, June-Sept. 1992. An excellent work illustrating objects from the Percival David Foundation and the private collection of Mr. C.P. Lin. Both collections predominantly contain fine Imperial wares and it is these porcelains that reflect the tastes and interests of the Chinese court.

Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art: Colloquies on Art and Archaeology in Asia., London 1992.
Hardcover: 175 pages, 200 objects depicted in color.
Publisher: Art Media Resources Ltd (June 1992)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 981003721X
ISBN-13: 978-9810037215
Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 9.5 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds

April 4th, 2008

Imperial Taste
– Chinese Ceramics from the Percival David Foundation

By: Rosemary Scott et al.

Imperial Chinese Porcelain // Monochromes

Imperial Taste – Chinese Ceramics from the Percival David Foundation

This is the catalogue to an exhibition organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with pieces from the Percival David Foundation in London.

Smitten by the riches of the Imperial Collection, connoisseur Sir Percival David (1892-1964) braved the “insuperable obstacles” posed by rival Chinese collectors – and the chicaneries of the Chinese bank which then owned the priceless porcelains in the collection – to purchase, in 1926, the collection, which is now quartered at the University of London.

The 56 pieces that makes up this exhinbition date from the 9th to the 18th centuries. Formerly owned by Chinese emperors, they document fluctuating imperial taste and bear witness to an enduring high standard, from Jun ware from the 12th and 13th centuries – smudged generously with mottled plum and purple glazes – to the delicate naturalism of 18th-century Jingdezhen tea sets, painted with lotus blossoms.

Rounding out the many color photographs and catalogue essay by curator Rosemary Scott are other pieces by Rosemary Scott and scholars George Kuwayama, Roderick Whitfield, Wu Tung and Denise Patry Leidy discussing archeological research, the origins of ceramic painting styles, the role played by such porcelains in Chinese painting itself and the influence of East-West trade on the art.

Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Paperback: 136 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (July 1, 1989)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0877016127
ISBN-13: 978-0877016120

March 28th, 2008

Chinese Ceramics: Selected Articles from Orientations, 1982-2003

Imperial Chinese Porcelain // Ming Porcelain // Song Dynasty


This substantial compilation of illustrated articles from ‘Orientations’ makes available new perspectives and the results of specialist research on many aspects of the history, design and production of Chinese ceramics.

This book just ought to be one of the best buys ever when it comes to substance. One slight drawback is that the book as such is compiled from a series of interesting articles.

Even if they so to speak covers the history of Chinese Ceramics, as a book, it lacks focus. But besides that, as a night table book, or the perfect reference look-up book if you are lucky enough to hit home on one of the topics covered. Very good.

Nobody hesitates about that this book is worth buying. Actually you should have subscribed to Orientation during 1982-2003 in the first place but if you didn’t; here’s a very good selection of the best of the best.

Format: Paperback, 430 pages
Published: 2004, Hong Kong, 2nd Edition
ISBN: 9627951325

March 28th, 2008

For the Imperial Court:
Qing Porcelain from the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art
By: Rosemary E. Scott

Imperial Chinese Porcelain

For the Imperial Court: Qing Porcelain from the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art

This book was published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name. Most of the objects featured in this exhibition are are pre-eighteenth century. This collection also features many objects produced in the “guyue xuan” style, the only other notable collection of which is found in the National Museum of Taipei. The collection from which the exhibition is drawn and the quality of the text, makes this modest book a “classic” or “must have”.

Format: Hardcover, 160 pages
Published: 1997, USA, 1st Edition
ISBN: 9813066016

CLASSIC – Chinese Imperial Porcelain

March 27th, 2008

Chinese ceramics in the Baur Collection
By: John Ayers

Imperial Chinese Porcelain // Monochromes // Song Dynasty

Chinese Ceramics in the Baur Collection


“One of the finest private collections of Asian art in the West”

Alfred Baur (1865-1951) gave his collection to the foundation which bears his name shortly before he died, in 1951. He began collecting in about 1907 and continued right up until his death with creating one of the finest private collections of Asian art in the West. Little was known of the breadth and quality of his collection until his original four volume catalog of the Baur collection of Chinese ceramics was published. Those volumes have been long out of print and are much sought after.


Much as I would prefer the complete original set of Collections Baur, 1968-1984 in eleven volumes, or just the four volumes that containes the cermics, I think this more affordable set of two books gives good value for the money.

Its a compact but beautiful two volume set in a beautiful slip case. It is well produced and contains new photographs and new text by John Ayers.

CLASSIC – A Catalog of one of the finest private collections of Asian art in the West

March 26th, 2008

Chinese Ceramics:
Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty 1644-1911
By: Rose Kerr

Chinese Porcelain (in general) // Imperial Chinese Porcelain

Chinese Ceramics: Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty 1644-1911)

Comparably thin but a very important book. For those with a serious interest in Imperial Chinese porcelain.

Drawing from examples of V & A collections, the study is a useful introduction to Qing ceramics, focusing on objects produced for domestic use. Has a very useful chapter on sources in Chinese, French and English on the history of Jingdezhen. Also discussed is Jingdezhen kiln technology.

I think that when I am thinking about a good beginners book to recommend, it is not a book about cheap porcelain you can find at flea markets I am thinking of, but this book, for example, that in a modest format explains why Chinese porcelain is an exceptionally interesting art form and how come peopele are prepared to pay millions of $ for just one vase or a dish. I think that is where we should all begin, and then scale down towards what we can afford but with the goal in mind, that one day we should own at least one of these pieces.

Recommended beginners introduction
on Chinese Imperial ware

March 26th, 2008

Early Ming Wares of Qingdezhen
By: A. D. Brankstone

Imperial Chinese Porcelain // Ming Porcelain


This is the most charming book that is likely ever to be published on the subject of early Chinese porcelain.

This book is a collector’s item in itself and I highly recommend it for the understanding of early Ming.

The personal enthusiasm and brilliant mind of the author goes a long way to explain why we collect Chinese porcelain in the first place. This is a good friend to have in the book shelf. Go for a first edition if you can find one, for the “ambiance”.

CLASSIC – on understanding early Ming

March 25th, 2008