Jingdezhen ware

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Qingbai ("Blueish-white") glazed bowl with carved peony designs, Jingdezhen, Southern Song, 1127-1279.

Jingdezhen ware (Chinese: 景德镇陶瓷) refers to ceramics, particularly porcelain, produced in the vicinity of Jingdezhen, China. Jingdezhen is believed to have produced pottery as early as the sixth century CE.

Jingdezhen bluish-white ware[edit]

The Fonthill vase was the earliest piece of Chinese porcelain documented to reach Europe, in 1338.

Jingdezhen ware became particularly important from the Song period with the production of Qingbai (青白, "Blueish-white") ware. The Jingdezhen Qingbai was a transparent and jade-like type of porcelain, with a blueish-white glaze. Decoration was made by delicate carving or incising.[1]

The earliest piece of Chinese porcelain documented to have reached Europe, was a Qingbai porcelain bottle from Jingdezhen, which arrived in Europe in the middle of the 14th century: the Fonthill vase.

Later, Jingdezhen produced Shufu ware, named after the two character inscription on some pieces. Shufu may mean the pieces were ordered for the Shumiyuan (Ministry of Defense). The Shufu pieces have a thick, somewhat opaque, glaze, almost white in color, with a faint blue-green tint.[1]

Jingdezhen blue-and-white porcelain[edit]

Early blue and white porcelain, manufactured circa 1335, Jingdezhen.

From the mid-14th century, Jindezhen began to mass-produced underglaze blue porcelain.[1] During the Ming period, official kilns for Imperial productions were established in Jingdezhen.[1]

Qing period[edit]

With the Qing period, designs became more varied, combined folk and Imperial styles, and Jingdezhen ware became famous around the world.[1] Export were hampered after the French jesuit François Xavier d'Entrecolles visited Jingdezhen and wrote to Europe about its manufacturing secret between 1712 and 1720. From that point, European countries would start to rival Chinese porcelain productions, initially by imitating Chinese styles, and later by developing their own original artistic patterns.

Contemporary productions[edit]

Porcelain workshop in Jingdezhen
20th century Jingdezhen ware, with factory mark: 中国景德镇 ("China Jingdezhen") and MADE IN CHINA in English.

Jingdezhen ware continues to be produced to this day, with Jingdezhen porcelain being shipped around the world.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Shanghai Museum permanent exhibit


  • Dillon, Michael, Transport and Marketing in the Development of the Jingdezhen Porcelain Industry during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 35, No. 3, 1992, 278-290.
  • Hanaoka and Barberri trans., Masahiko Sato, Chinese Ceramics: A Short History, Weatherhill, New York and Tokyo, 1981, 195-205.

External links[edit]