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

Hirado: Prince of Porcelains by Louis Lawrence

Japanese Porcelain

Hirado : Prince of Porcelains (Encyclopedia of Japanese Art Series) (Encyclopedia of Japanese Art Series)

Hirado: Prince of Porcelains is part of the Enclyclopedia of Japanese Art Series. It provides a comprehensive look at one of Japan’s greatest porcelain factories, which enjoyed enduring princely patronage from the Matsura family, Lords of Hirado Island. The book displays Hirado ware with its subtlety, charm and magnificence in broadly chronological order, summarises documentation on these wares, and underpins these with information about Western collectors, as well as all known Hirado artists’ signatures.

The first book in the Encyclopedia of Japanese Art series is devoted to Hirado porcelain and is the only work devoted exclusively to the subject in English. This much needed volume traces the origins of one of Japan’s great porcelain manufacturers from its first years in the 17th century to its closure early in the 20th century.

Illustrated with 101 colour and black and white photos, almost all of which are published for the first time, it displays the extraordinary range of Hirado wares originally made exclusively for the wealthy Matsura family. It conclusively demonstrates that Hirado was an important kiln in the history of Japanese ceramics and its widely varied wares rank among the finest made.

Within the appendices of this book is a unique and comprehensive section devoted to over 90 marks found on Hirado wares. The eccentric charm and superlative quality of this rare porcelain is admirably displayed in this book by scholar and dealer, Louis Lawrence with an introduction by the renowned collector David Hyatt King.

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Art Media Resources Ltd; 1 edition (1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1878529307
ISBN-13: 978-1878529305
Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.2 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
ISBN: 1878529307

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

Blanc De Chine: Porcelain from Dehua by Rose Kerr & John Ayers

Fujian / Blanc de Chine


Of all new books on Blanc de Chinese this is my favorite. Its very complete and it is very well thought out. The Frank and Pamela Hickley major collection of blanc de Chine, the white porcelain traditionally produced in Dehua, Fujian Province, South China, was given to the Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore in 2000.

Dehua porcelain, or Blanc de Chine as it is known in the West, is pure ivory-white porcelain made at the Dehua kilns in the southern Chinese province of Fujian. It rose to international significance in the 17th century and inspired aristocratic patronage in the development of European porcelain. Its popularity at home and abroad continued and the kilns at Dehua remain prolific to this day. This is the first comprehensive publication since P. J. Donnelly’s pioneering study thirty years ago. An international group of specialists discuss how, why and when the Dehua porcelain phenomenon occurred. The book is also a catalog of the important Hickley Collection in Singapore. Each piece is illustrated in beautiful full color photography.

Four essays on the Dehua production and styles and on the world’s major collections together with an interview with Mrs Pamela Hickley introduce the catalog. 134 pieces from the Collection are illustrated in color and annotated as to style and historical significance. The beauty and great diversity of blanc de Chine is impressively conveyed. Bibliography included.

This one and Donnelly and maybe two more books on Blanc de Chine and you should be pretty well covered regarding figures. If we go on and want to cover Dehua and even worse, Fujian wares, then there will be more books needed of course.

132 pages
Publisher: RoutledgeCurzon; 1 edition (December 30, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0700717137
ISBN-13: 978-0700717132
Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds

March 28th, 2008

The Stonewares of Yixing:
From the Ming Period to the Present Day

By: K. S. Lo


The Stonewares of Yixing: From the Ming Period to the Present Day

Color and B&W photos (wares and seals), line drawings (teapots), bibliography, index of potters, general index. Twenty years after its publication, this book remains the single most important English language reference on Yixing.

Kwee Seong Lo’s scholarly approach and chronological progression of the text enable readers of English, for the first time, to understand many of the nuances and traditions of Yixing ware, with no aspect overlooked. An absolute imperative addition to any Yixing library.

Hardcover: 287 pages
Publisher: Sotheby Parke Bernet Pubns (December 1986)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0856671819
ISBN-13: 978-0856671814
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.2 x 1.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds

March 28th, 2008

The Art of the Yixing Potter
– the K.S. Lo collection

By: Anita Wong and Rose Lee


Exhibition catalog. The Art of the Yixing Potter: the K.S. Lo Collection, Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware.
Hong Kong: The Urban Council, 1990.

With text in English and Chinese, this exhibition catalog describes Yixing stoneware, its history, some Yixing collections, and the collecting of such ware in the West. This work looks at tea drinking in China and offers a concise history of Yixing Ware, the collection of Yixing Ware in the Shanghai Museum, as well as Yixing and the West. Complimented by profuse photographic illustrations showing good examples of the pottery.

Colour and black and white photographic illustrations,
250 pages, 317 illustrations (247 in color) and 194 color reference illustrations. index, appendix:
Three Techniques of Making Yixing Teapots, dustjacket protected, quarto.
Text in English and Chinese.

Published by Urban Council, Hong Kong.
250 pp. 31 x 25 cm.
Unfortunately, this book is currently out of print.

March 28th, 2008

A Chorus of Colors, Chinese Glass from Three American Collections

Chinese 'Beijing' Glass

A Chorus of Colors: Chinese Glass from Three American Collections

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco organised this exhibit in 1995 to highlight the pioneering efforts of three important collectors of Chinese glass. This book contributes significantly to the literature on glass by illustrating the entire history and development of glass with works previously unavailable to the public. Each page is illustrated with a specimen and includes remarks as to the process for making it and specific traits of the piece.

A Chorus of Colors: Chinese Glass from Three American Collections, edited by Michael Morrison, catalogue entries by Claudia Brown. San Francisco: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1995.

Catalog of an exhibition at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco of three private collections, providing color illustrations of objects dating from the Han to the Qing period.

Format: Paperback, 127 pages
Published: 1995, USA
ISBN: 0295975113

March 27th, 2008

Porcelain from the Vung Tau Wreck:
The Hallström Excavation

By: Christiaan J. A. Jörg, & Michael Flecker

Chinese Export Porcelain // Ship Wreck Cargoes

Porcelain from the Vung Tau Wreck: The Hallstrom Excavation

In the 1690s, a Chinese junk bound for Batavia and laden with ceramics for export to Europe, caught fire and foundered off Vung Tau, Vietnam. In the 1990s – and with the sanction of the Vietnamese government — a Vietnamese/Swedish team explored the wreck. A vast amount of mainly blue-and-white porcelain was found, and much of it was finally auctioned in Amsterdam, the cargo’s original destination. This illustrated expert study describes the 17th century export trade of China-Batavia-Holland and details the artefacts found. In part 2 the ship itself is presented and the methods and course of the excavation are set out. With drawings and photographs, biblography and index.

This book is divided into two sections: the art historical study of the ceramic hoard and it place in the history of European trade with Asia and China and the excavation process. It also presents data and commentary on the systematic underwater fieldwork, documentation and the raising of the cargo.

Format: Hardcover, 172 pages
Published: 2001, Singapore
ISBN: 981045208X

March 27th, 2008

Hare’s Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feather:
Chinese Brown- and Black-glazed Ceramics, 400-1400
By: Robert D. Mowry

Song Dynasty


This volume is the catalog of the first exhibition to feature this type of ware which was first made in the Han (206 B.C.-220 A.D.), reached the golden age during the Song, Jin, and Yuan periods (10th-13th centuries). The title of the book derives from the names of markings on these wares. In the West, it is called temmoku. The catalogue is of the 1996 exhibition of Chinese Brown- and Black-glazed Ceramics 400-1400 CE, but the essays, photographs and notes on the 112 artifacts exhibited will be of lasting interest. There is specialist essays on glazed ceramics, on the Jian tea ware imported into Japan, and on technical considerations in ceramic creation. With illustrated descriptions and provenance notes on the 112 artifacts exhibited. With map, chronology and bibliography.

“This groundbreaking catalogue is the first of its kind to examine the exquisite Chinese brown- and black-glazed wares (including those commonly known as “Temmoku”), tracing their evolution and development from the fifth to the fifteenth century. Illustrated with fine and important pieces from famous museum and private collections, it includes excellent essays and definitive entries by Robert D. Mowry, with contributions on specific historical and technical aspects by Eugene Farrell and Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere. Reviewed by many experts, this book has become a standard textbook for students of Chinese ceramics and an essential reference for collectors, scholars, and other interested readers.”

Highly recommended.

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Art Museums, 1996.
Format: Paperback, 280 pages
Published: 1997, USA, 1st Edition
ISBN: 0916724883

March 27th, 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

Bright as Silver, White as Snow:
Chinese White Ceramics from Late Tang to Yuan Dynasty

By: Lo Kai-Yin (Ed.)

Song Dynasty // Tang Figures

whiteceramics2.jpgBright as Silver, White as Snow

Kai-Yin Lo Collection of Chinese ceramics

This book accompanied the exhibition of the Kai-Yin Lo Collection of Chinese ceramics at the Denver Art Museum from October 1, 1998 – September 30, 1999, featuring white and Qingbai wares from the Tang to the Yuan dynasty.

The catalog includes essays on such topics as life in the Song dynasty, white wares of north and south China, the development of white and Qingbai wares, material culture in the northern Song, and pictorial perspectives on Hangzhou during the Song accompany the detailed color photographs and descriptions of the pieces in this collection.

As usual with catalog’s they offer fairly good value for money. There is a lot to read since the first 80 pages are essays by eminent scholars like Regina Krahl, Li Zhiyan, Roderick Whitfield and Sören Edgren. The plate section that begins at page 85 is particularly strong with regards to Qingbai while the presentation of earlier wares doesn’t really cuts it. The strength is the essays and the presentation of Song dynasty Qingbai where illustrations of the bases are included. I would give this book an overall four stars for the essays and Qingbai presentation. When it comes to how necessary it is to have this book, I think it comes somewhere in the middle of the field.

Maps, a chronology and bibliography included.
Format: Paperback, 208 pages
Published: 1998, Hong Kong, 1st Edition
ISBN: 9789627502395

Authors: Regina Krahl, Li Zhiyan, Roderick Whitfield and Sören Edgren.
Publisher: Art Media Resources
Format: Paperback, 208 pages

March 27th, 2008

Five Thousand Years of Chinese Ceramics:
From the Robin and R. Randolph Richmond, Jr. Collection

By: Lisa Rotondo-McCord

Tang Figures


Five Thousand Years of Chinese Ceramics: From the Robin And R. Randolph Richmond, Jr. Collection

This catalog of ceramic artifacts created in China over the last 5000 years was published to complement the donation to the New Orleans Art Museum in 2000 of the notable Richmond Collection. A chronology and illustrated introductory essay on the history and development of Chinese ceramics is followed by 100 full-page color photographs of selected ceramic objects of many kinds. Full descriptions and provenance details are appended. With bibliography and sketch map.

This volume illustrates one hundred works from a significant and wide-ranging collection of Chinese ceramics, including works of the Chinese potters’ art from the Neolithic through the Yuan dynasties (approximately 4000 BC through the 14th century), with works from the major traditions and kilns. It showcases the extraordinary achievements of Chinese potters in both earthenware and stoneware, and in ceramics made for use in this world as well as the afterlife.
One of the earliest works included is a product of the late phase of the Dawenkou culture (c. 2800-2400 BC), one of China’s several, co-existing Neolithic cultures characterized by distinctive pottery. Examples of funerary art from the Han and Tang dynasties are included, and finally Song wares that embody a literati aesthetic.

Format: Paperback, 144 pages
Published: 2005, USA, 1st Edition
ISBN: 0894940945

March 27th, 2008

Dehua Wares

Fujian / Blanc de Chine


Dehua Wares.
The Fung Ping Shan Museum

Softbound Catalog by the University or Hong Kong 1990 – Good complement

This book was published in 1990 by the University or Hong Kong in cooperation with the mainland Fujian Provincial Museum and is based on the latest archaeological data there is. The book is very up to date, inexpensive, and a good buy even if the number of illustration are comparably few and the dates put to the different pieces are mostly limited to suggest which dynasty. This is probably a “better buy” than Donelly since it is more up to date and more recent, still it is “light years” behind, in over-all scope.

March 27th, 2008

Blanc de Chine
By: P. J Donnelly

Fujian / Blanc de Chine

Blanc De Chine (Monographs on Pottery & Porcelain)

This is the classic book on the white porcelain from the Dehua kilns in Fujian province. This books draws mainly on old well known western collections. The content has been challenged and improved upon in many later books. Still this is the pioneering work and personally I like to combine this classic book with more recent publications and excavation reports.

Hardcover: 422 pages
Publisher: Faber and Faber (July 1969)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0571080782
ISBN-13: 978-0571080786

CLASSIC – the book everybody are complaining about but all are referring too …

March 27th, 2008

Blanc De Chine
The Great Porcelain of Dehua

Fujian / Blanc de Chine


Blanc De Chine
The Great Porcelain of Dehua

By: Robert H. Blumenfield

Beginning in the mid-thirteenth century, the kilns of Dehua, capital of the Fujian Province in southeast China, began producing brilliant white porcelain pieces, the likes of which had never been seen before.

These pieces were originally crafted with only domestic markets in mind, for use as cooking and serving ware, or for decoration or religious purposes. But as Chinese artifacts made their way around the world, overland on the Silk Route and in the hull of the occasional trading vessel, a significant market for these porcelains blossomed in Europe, where they were prized for their refinement of form and finish.

A quite modern book in English, published in 2002, this is an alternative for anyone who just want one book on this ware. I personally don’t think it is enough with just one book if you collect anything, with Blanc-de-chine as no exception, being an exceptionally difficult subject, but this is a good addition anyway.

The author is personally a knowledgeable collector of Blanc de Chine. The pictures are great and the book contains the history, development of the ware, early manufacturing and trade as well as details the differences between true Blanc-de-Chine and other, less distinguished white wares.

In the book, he provides a rich historical account of the evolution of the form, and the character and technical mastery that distinguish its finest pieces.

Today, blanc de Chine are some of the most sought after collectibles in the world of Chinese art, their aesthetic appeal lying in their stark shapes and color, and their impossibly delicate, glass like glaze. The photos are good and the author share important research findings obtained from private collections and other blanc de Chine resources around the world.

For the beginner collector, Blumenfield details the differences between true blanc de Chine and other, less distinguished white wares. For the Asian art enthusiast, he provides a rich historical account of the evolution of the form, and the character and technical mastery that distinguish its finest pieces.

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press (February 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1580082939
ISBN-13: 978-1580082938

March 27th, 2008

Tang Ceramics – Changsha Kilns
By: Timothy See-Yiu Lam

Tang Figures


Tang Ceramics – Changsha Kilns

By: Timothy See-Yiu Lam

That this book is an absolute necessity for anybody collecting Changsha is obvious but it goes beyond that. It is written by a collector and one of those gifted persons who have this elusive “understanding” of what he sees. That talent is very rare and worth taking care of in any form it appears.


The point being that even if I don’t particularly were looking for Changsha pieces, I would benefit greatly from this book because it helps me understand early Chinese pottery, sharpen my eyes and help me understand more about what to look for in genuine pieces in general. Besides, it is a quite interesting book. I know this is a bit on the short side for this large book, but go look for it and you will see.

This volume is the result of much careful effort and enterprise on the part of the author. For the visual documentation alone the book is well worth having in the libraries of all those interested in Chinese ceramics. (South China Morning Post, Aug. 11, 1990)

It deals almost exclusively with the pottery products from the Changsha family of kilns in Hunan province during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). The book includes information on basic pottery culture, historical background, poetry, calligraphy, and ornamentation and decoration of ceramic wares.

Library Binding: 367 pages
Publisher: Lammett Arts; 1 edition (July 1990)
ISBN-10: 9627468010
ISBN-13: 978-9627468011
Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.4 x 1.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds


March 27th, 2008

Pre-Tang Ceramics of China
By: William Watson

Tang Figures

watson_pretang1.jpgPre-Tang Ceramics of China: Chinese Pottery from 4000 B.C. to 600 A.D. (Faber Monographs on Pottery and Porcelain)

Chinese pottery from 4000 BC to 600 AD. The book divides China into seven ceramic zones and relates these to the developement of different cultures. The work traces the history of ceramics from the earliest appearance of pottery to the Tang dynasty. Information is organized geographically by regions with descriptions of local characteristics; the development of kilns and vessel shapes and models by using archaeological reports and other studies by Chinese scholars.

I don’t know of any better book on early Chinese pottery, still this subject is so large and complicated it needs a library of its own. I can also tell that if you prefer glossy pictures to academic text, this book might be a bit dry. I still would not want to be without it. That’s the way it is with quality.

Boston: Faber and Faber, 1991.

CLASSIC – Important on early Chinese pottery

March 27th, 2008

Song Ceramics from the Kwan Collection
By: Simon Kwan

Song Dynasty

Song Ceramics From the Kwan Collection

This is a catalogue from an exhibition at the Hong Kong Museum of Art in 1994. If there is one book that I would not want to be without when it would come to identifying Song ceramics, this would be one of them. The choise would stand between this, Jan Virgins Song Ceramics, or the Mary Tregear’s similarly named Song Ceramics below.

If it is not in any of these three books, it is probably not Song. One important feature that sets this book aside from most other is that the base and footrim on all pieces are all illustrated. The difference between them is otherwise that this is a recently brought together top quality collection; good, but not as intersting as for example the Carl Kempe collection, now in Ulricehamn, Sweden. Jan Virgin’s book is actually his doctoral thesis and is specialiced on decorations, and is fantastic in its scope of illustrating richly varied – genuine – pieces. Mary Tregears book is interesting, since it illustrates – in color – lots of common and comparably easily to find Song and Yuan “trade” ceramics.

Hardcover: 455 pages
Publisher: Hong Kong Urban Council; 1st edition (1994)
Language: Chinese with foreword and captions in English
ISBN-10: 962215123X
ISBN-13: 978-9622151239

March 27th, 2008

Green Wares from Zhejiang
By: Peng Shifan (ed.)

Green Wares // Song Dynasty // Tang Figures


This book is not only about Song pottery but it is so good and so important concerning the history of Song ceramics, I want it high up on this list anyway. It is a cataloge from an exhibition jointly presented by the Fung Ping Shan Museum and the Zhejiang Provincial Museum on greenwares from Zhejiang and goes to prove that the name “Celadon” needs to be reconsidered and that “Green wares” are much more than that.

Published by Fung Ping Shan Museum, The University of Hong Kong 1993.
Interesting, modern and inexpensive.

March 27th, 2008

Song Ceramics

By: Lu Yaw, Feng Xianming and Mary Tregear

Song Dynasty // Yuan Dynasty

Well illustrated in color and a concise

This is an excellent reference book to get a fair understanding of all those Song and Yuan dynasty green wares.

It deals mostly with common Song dynasty export wares. Well illustrated in color and a concise summary of some very informed opinions. Some information is improved upon today but I still don’t want to be without this book.

Published by Southeast Asian Ceramic Society 1983 in a limited edition of 2000 copies, it might be a bit difficult to find but if you stumble over a copy I think you will find it useful. There are better books today but it still a good compliment or an OK beginning if you don’t want to goo too deep into the details.

ISBN 9971837269

CLASSIC – A bit dated but straightforward guide to typical South East Asian market Song and Yuan trade ceramics

March 27th, 2008

Ancient Chinese Tea Wares.
Hong Kong Museum of Art

Song Dynasty

Ancient Chinese Tea Wares = Zhongguo gudai cha ju zhan.

This is a catalog from an exhibition of tea wares jointly presented by the Urban Council, Hong Kong and the National Museum of Chinese History, Beijing. Besides illustrating 100 items connected to the drinking of tea it also explains the use of tea utensils and also details the development in the Chinese tradition of tea. From the Jin dynasty and up until the late Qing dynasty.

It is a good reference for Song pottery and the catalog also presents pieces from Ming and the Qing dynasties in porcelain, pewter and Yixing pottery. Undoubtedly this is for the tea specialist but the selection of items is interesting and illustrates pieces that maybe in a different context would have failed to attract much attention. There are better book on Song ceramics, but for tea drinking paraphernalia through the centuries, there are few better books.

240 pages, 100 illustrated items, full color.
Publisher: Hong Kong: The Urban Council of Hong Kong, 1994
ISBN-10: 9622151272
ISBN-13: 978-9622151277

March 26th, 2008

Dated Qingbai Wares
of the Song and Yuan Dynasties
By: Peng Shifan (ed.)

Song Dynasty // Yuan Dynasty

Dated Qingbai Wares of the Song and Yuan Dynasties

A book on one hundred Qingbai pieces excavated in Jiangxi province, China, from dated or datable locations spanning from AD986 to 1348. If you are interested in Qingbai it doesn’t get more interesting then this. Interesting, modern and inexpensive. Text in English and Chinese. Hong Kong 1998. Paperback.

ISBN 962-7502-45-6

Region: China
Format: Paperback, 112 pages
Published: 1998, Hong Kong, 1st Edition
ISBN: 9627502456

March 26th, 2008

Celadon Blues:
Recreate Ancient Chinese Celadon Glazes

By: Robert Tichane

Glaze and Pottery Technique // Song Dynasty

celadonblues.jpgCeladon Blues

This is a quite interesting author in the field of ancient Chinese pottery and porcelain since he is not an arts historian but a potter. I first noticed him through a book he wrote on a visit he once did to Jingdezhen, just to study Chinese pottery. Now that is dedication.

This is another book by him I just figured I wanted to mention to the real hardcore Song pottery collectors, because here Robert Tichane sets out to recreate all these famous glazes – and if you skip the instructions on how to actually do that, the book itself really explains what distinguishes the famous wares and glazes like Celadon, Jun, Yue, Temmuko etc. and how a really successful copy could look like. If you happen to be a potter, this is probably even more interesting. I however found it this book quite interesting if not of vital importance.

The beautiful, subtle, and visually varied glaze effects of celadons can be achieved with the guidance of this terrific study from noted chemist and potter Robert Tichane, who has done years of research to dissect ancient Chinese glazes and re-create them with modern materials. The results of thousands of tests of this notoriously fussy glaze will guide potters of all skill levels to achieve a variety of colorations, from sky blue to green to gray, from dramatic to understated.

This books is currently available at Amazon for $9 which means there are no excuse from adding it to your library.

March 26th, 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 Armorial Porcelain – Volume II

By: David Sanctuary Howard

Chinese Export Porcelain


Chinese Armorial Porcelain II, By: David Sanctuary Howard

Chinese Armorial Porcelain

Volume II

By: David Sanctuary Howard

This Volume II is a second, much updated, version of a work originally published in 1974. The late David Howard was as dedicated and well-organized businessman and scholar you could ever ask for. Somehow he seemed to share the soul of the early traders, adventurers and businessmen who originated the East India Companies throughout the world in the 17th 18th and 19th centuries. David Howard was an expert in Chinese export porcelain for over thirty years, based in a small shop in Hay Hill in London. We met and corresponded via mail for some time and I am happy to recognize some of my additions to his collection in his books.

This Volume II I would consider an indispensable resource for anyone studying and collecting Chinese Export porcelain.

Beside an extensive list of supplementary articles and registers the listing of services with photographs occupies some 640 pages of the 900 pages.

The original 1974 volume listed nearly 3,000 services made for families with British connections, of which almost 2,000 were illustrated. This new 2003 edition illustrates some 3,380 services, and David Howard believes that perhaps as many as 2,000 more still await discovery.

The order in which this complex material is organized follows the method he introduced in the 1974 edition by dividing them according to the style of the designs on their rims.

Although the system is not perfect, containing minor contradictions and overlaps, it supplements dating most domestic and export Chinese porcelain that bears similar designs as the armorial porcelain why these documented items, sometimes datable to an exact year, provide information with regards to form, pattern, motif and color palette that can be applied both to export wares and to Qing dynasty porcelain more generally.

For supplementary and updating material there is a useful website to complement the book

Hardcover: 900 pages
Publisher: Heirloom & Howard Ltd.; 1st edition (2003)
Language: English
ASIN: B000P72736

CLASSIC – on export porcelain in general and specifically, on Armorial porcelain for Great Britain

March 26th, 2008

Chinese Folk Painting on Porcelain

By: Bi Keguan

Chinese Porcelain (in general) // Min Yao

bikeguan.jpgChinese Folk Painting on Porcelain

At the Shanghai Museum Shop and probably at many other Museum Shops this book should be available. This is an unusual book even if in some minor parts some dates are wrong, but most important is that he has an interesting point in speaking up for the “peoples porcelain” min yao as an art form separated from the Imperial tradition.

Translated from Chinese, the book discusses the art of underglazed porcelain painting at private kilns, various styles, decorations and artistic values. Its about the impressionistic and simplified peoples drawing that can’t help but being closely related to the Chinese written language. It is very easy to observe once you have begun to think about it and this is what makes this book valuable in my eyes. It also traces down the developmen of some well known patterns, and on the whole, makes common everyday wares more interesting.

Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1991.

CLASSIC – on decorations on Chinese folk wares

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Foreign Languages Press (December 1991)
ISBN-10: 7119014056
ISBN-13: 978-7119014050

March 26th, 2008

Japanese Marks and Seals by James Lord Bowes

Japanese Porcelain

bowes_marks_and_seals.jpgJapanese Marks and Seals, in Literature & the Arts

Japanese Marks and Seals by James Lord Bowes, Floating World Editions 2003, has just been released by and is an essential reference for those serious about trying to read the markings on Japanese porcelain.

First published in 1882, it has translations of hundreds of markings use on a wide variety of Japanese products, with the vast majority devoted to porcelain and pottery.

Only $35, and I say only because the hardback, long out of print is $300+ when you can find it. Text is in the public domain, so it can be freely reproduced without permissission. Limitations are that no markings after about 1865 (some later, but none later than 1882), and no photos or drawing of the pieces that contained the markings with only very minimal descriptions. However, it is a very good reference book.

March 26th, 2008

Page 3 Show More Books25 More suggestions