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China Porcelain

Chinese Porcelain has been such an integral part of Chinese relationships with the West for hundreds of years. It was traded extensively with the West and was a major commodity on the Ancient Silk Road. A lot of people’s first thoughts of China are of porcelain and it is no wonder. It is a very important part of Chinese people’s culture and lives and very few homes or offices do not have porcelain objects of art in one form or another.

It is believed by historians that porcelain originated in China during the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046BC). The early porcelain wares were crafted for the middle and upper classes and were formed into utilitarian and decorative objects. During the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) porcelain development advanced rapidly and Celadon and Black Porcelain wares were the favored types of porcelain. In the Tang Dynasty (618-906), porcelain replaced gold, silver, and jade wares and started to be exported along the Silk Road. The famous Blue and White Porcelain was developed during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and became the most prolific type or porcelain for centuries. Today, porcelain ware is made is split into utilitarian and artistic categories, much as they have been for centuries.

China's major porcelain production center is located in Jingdezhen in China’s Jiangxi Province. It has been producing porcelain for over 1,700 years and is where the majority of China’s porcelain masters create their art. It is one of the only places in China where visitors can watch the entire porcelain production process from original clay ore to finished pieces. Jingdezhen porcelain is often given as gifts to visiting heads of state.

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