Yue ware

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Yue ware stoneware, China, Five Dynasties, 10th century CE.

Yue ware (Chinese: 越器; pinyin: Yuèqì; also 越州窯) is a type of Chinese ceramics, a felspathic siliceous stoneware, which is characteristically decorated with celadon glazing.[1][2] Yue ware is also sometimes called "green porcelain" (Chinese: 越州青瓷; pinyin: Yuèzhōu qīngcí, or Chinese: 青瓷; pinyin: qīngcí) in modern literature, but the term is misleading as it is not really porcelain and its shades are not really green.[1] It has been "one of the most successful and influential of all south Chinese ceramics types".[2]


Yue ware was fired in "Dragon kilns". The Yue glazing was made with a recipe using wood ash and clay, and possibly small amounts of limestone.[2] Firing temperature is thought to have been about 1,000°C or slightly higher.[2] The color of the glaze ranges from grey to olive to brown. Yue ware is considered as the ancestor of Song celadon ceramics.[1]


Yue ware with motif, 3rd century CE, Western Jin, Zhejiang.

Yue ware originated in the Yue kilns of Northern Zhejiang, in the site of Jiyuan near Shaoxing, called in ancient times "Yuezhou" (越州).[1][3] Its name goes back to the Yue (state) of the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BCE).[2] Yue ware was first manufactured in the 2nd century CE, when it consisted of very precise imitations of bronze vessels, many of which have been found in tombs of the Nanjing region.[1] After this initial phase, Yue ware evolved progressively into true ceramic form, and became a medium of artistic expression.[1][2] Production in Jiyuan stopped in the 6th century, but expanded to various areas of Zhejiang, especially around the shores of Shanglinhu in Yuyaoxian.[1][2]

Tang Dynasty stoneware with celadon glaze (Yue ware), found in Samarra, Iraq.

Yue ware was highly valued and was used as tribute for the imperial court of China in the 9th century.[2] Significantly, it was also used in China's most revered Famen Temple in Shaanxi Province.[2] Yue ware was exported to the Middle East early on. In an early example of Chinese influences on Islamic pottery, shards of Yue ware have been excavated in Samarra, Iraq,.[3] From the 8th to the 11th centuries, it was also exported to East Asia, South Asia, and East Africa.[2][4]

Yue plate, Zhejiang, 10th century.

A particularly refined form of Yue ware is the Mi-se Yue ware (Chinese: 秘色越器, or Chinese: 秘色青磁, "Secret color Yue ware") found in the Famen shrine and dated to the 9th century. This ware was undecorated but characterized by a smooth and thin glaze of a light color, either yellowish green or bluish green.[2]

By the 11th century, Korean celadon were thought to be influenced by Yue ware, and displayed a bluer glaze through the use of low-iron and low-titania lime glazes, closer to the eutectic ideal. However, the Koreans developed their own bluish-green celadon glazes by Koryo dynasty, that was different from Yue wares.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g The arts of China by Michael Sullivan p.90ff [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Chinese glazes: their origins, chemistry, and recreation Nigel Wood p.35ff [2]
  3. ^ a b Notice of the Metropolitan Museum of Art permanent exhibition.
  4. ^ Li Zhiyan; Cheng Wen. Chinese pottery and porcelain. p. 195. ISBN 7-119-00752-1. 
  5. ^ Chinese glazes: their origins, chemistry, and recreation by Nigel Wood

External links[edit]