A Quick History of Chinese Porcelain

For thousands of years, Chinese culture has created and revered the traditional arts. The history of Chinese porcelain is especially interesting, as it is heavily featured in many different types of Chinese crafts and was widely used across nearly all dynasties. Two primary categories are tao (or low-temperature fired), and ci (or high-temperature fired), and both methods were used in different ways in many pieces. From serving dishes to decorative jugs and even the sought after Asian snuff boxes, the background of these antiques is varied and helps to showcase the expressive nature of Chinese art.


History of Chinese Porcelain


Chinese Plates

Chinese porcelain plates


First used for everyday dining in well-to-do homes, Antique Chinese porcelain plates are now rare and greatly desired by collectors. Due to the abundance of reproductions, it can be difficult to distinguish true pieces so some dealers are reluctant to buy and sell these. They traditionally feature the common motifs so distinctive of Chinese are, including flowers and birds.

Chinese Vases

Chinese Vases


A wide range of styles was designed, and different shapes and artwork can often be a sign of a particular dynasty. While not as valuable, even recent ones made in the late 1800s and early 1900s are regarded collectible, especially if they are quality examples of their time. Decorative techniques such as glazes (the celadon of the Tang dynasty and the blue and white of the Yuan and Ming dynasties are two of the most well known and admired color glazes) testify to the careful attention and respect given to the pieces by the designers. These glazes were also carried on to other Chinese porcelain antiques.

Chinese Bottles and Boxes

Chinese Bottles and Boxes


From common snuff boxes and pillboxes to other pieces, these smaller items show the range in antique Chinese porcelain history. Often highly decorative, they feature many well-known and traditional Chinese art themes. They can be completely made from porcelain, or use in combination with other studier materials. Either way, though somewhat diminutive in appearance, these antiques make up for their size by frequently commanding rather impressive prices in the collectible market.

Chinese Porcelain Extras

Chinese Porcelain Extras


While utilizing different processing techniques, the enamel is similar to porcelain in the base ingredients used. Many pieces in Chinese history have been decorated with enameling within other antique techniques such as cloisonne and made into personal items including jewelry and hairpieces. Lovely Chinese hair sticks and combs include this enameling in them, creating delicate additions to the history of Chinese porcelain.

The Chinese Porcelain history stretches back to beyond 5000 BC, when early peoples first began experimenting with pottery. From terracotta warriors to fine, hand-painted ceramic dishes and vases, their culture has produced some of the most well-known and sought after pieces ever seen.

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