New Discoveries of Early Yuan Blue-and-White from the Jingdezhen Kiln Site
Evening presentation by May Huang, lecturer at the School of Ceramic Art, Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute
Presentation at 6:30 pm
Drinks reception at 7:30 pm
Close at 8:00 pm
In 2009 a group of early Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) blue-and-white shards were discovered and excavated from the Hongwei Yingyuan (Hongwei Cinema) in downtown Jingdezhen. From analysis of the archaeological strata and other research, these early Yuan blue-and-white shards may be dated to between 1323 and 1336. This date is much earlier than the so-called "David Vase Type," first advanced by American scholars like John Alexander Pope in the 1950s. A total of 15 stem-bowls were discovered, all of which are decorated with under-glazed blue and copper red. A scientific analysis indicates that both the cobalt blue and the copper red pigments were imported from West Asia. Moreover, seven stem-bowls are decorated with Persian verses along the rim. After analyzing the Persian inscriptions, the form, decoration and the painting techniques of these wares, it may be concluded that they were made by Persian potters who came to Jingdezhen with imported cobalt blue, introducing the technique of under-glaze cobalt blue painting to local potters. This confirms that Yuan blue-and-white porcelain has its origins in Islamic under-glazed cobalt blue pottery, providing important material evidence of ceramic technology exchange and communication between China and the Islamic world. This discovery is by far the most important in early Yuan blue-and-white.
Born in 1982, May Huang (Huang Wei) is a lecturer at the School of Ceramic Art, Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, where she teaches courses in the history of Chinese ceramics and world ceramic history. She holds an M.A. degree from Peking University and has published articles in Wenwu and other publications. She has extensive field experience in archaeological excavations. In 2008 and 2013 she received the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute's award of Exemplary Teacher. She lectures regularly for the OCS in Hong Kong, London and for the Min Chiu Society.