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Decorative Designs in Chinese Art 中国文物的纹饰

Porcelain 瓷器 Later Jin Dynasty 金

Later Jin Dynasty

The porcelain pillow was created with a black painted on white base 白地黑花 technique, which was one of the specialties of the Cizhou Kiln 磁州窑, where it was produced. The decoration features a story scene 人物故事.

black painted porcelain with white base
白地黑花瓷 磁州窑 (1115〜1234) 北京首都博物馆 Black painted porcelain pillow with white base Cizhou Kiln, Jin Dynasty (1115—1234), Capital Museum, Beijing

The Jun Kilns 钧窑 were well known in the Song and early Yuan. There were Jun Kilns all over Henan province. The kilns at Juntai and Baguadong produced porcelain for the Imperial Palace. The Jun Kilns used a translucent glaze colored with copper or iron to give a moon-white, sky-blue, rose-purple, or crab apple-red colors. Careful control of firing temperature, atmosphere, and glaze ingrdients was needed to create these colors. The June kilns also used very thick glaze. A jar from the Jun Kilns is shown below.

Moon white glazed jar with a lotus leaf shaped lid
盖罐 (1115〜1300) 钧窑 上海博物馆 Moon-white glazed jar with a lotus leaf shaped lid Jun Kiln, Jin — Early Yuan Dynasty (1115—1300), Shanghai Museum

In the peony design below a dark glaze was applied and then the background for the design picked out to leave the peony raised above the background.

Black glazed jar with incised peony design
牡丹纹 (1115〜1234上海博物馆 Dark glazed jar with incised peony design Jin — Early Yuan Dynasty (1115—1300), Shanghai Museum

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