The wares sparsely decorated and relied as much on the beauty of the shape and surface of the ware as on the actual brushwork is known as the 'Chinese taste'. This rarely found out of China. Even with the advent of the times the eighteenth century styles and designs still prevails. And the pottery and porcelain made Korea has strong characteristics of its own both in shape and decoration.
Although a large quantity of old Chinese porcelain was made for export, there was a certain amount for the supply of the home market. In many instances this was made to much higher standards in both modelling and painting, and was generally very carefully finished. On the whole, it was sparsely decorated and relied as much on the beauty of the shape and surface of the ware as on the actual brushwork. This ware, known as being in the 'Chinese taste', is rarely found out of China but is sought eagerly by collectors.
With the advent of the nineteenth century, the eighteenth-century styles continued but the quality of both painting and porcelain fell off. In the Tao Kuang period was introduced the manner of painting the entire surface of a piece with flowers and butterflies against a green ground; this is known generally as 'Canton' ware.
The Chinese have always been careful copyists, and their work in porcelain is no exception. It has been mentioned that Yueh ware of the Tang dynasty was copied in the Ming period, but the same process has been continued down to modern times. Twentieth-century imitations of K'ang Hsi are often convincingly done and only experienced collectors can tell them from the originals. Equally, the clever reproductions of Samson of Paris and of the Herend factory in Austria must be guarded against.
Chinese porcelain is a lifetime study, and a fascinating one. New discoveries are being made continually, new theories brought forward, and the wares have an unequalled international interest. There is no short cut in learning how to differentiate between old and new; experience gained from handling and studying pieces is the only way. Although copies of early examples may seem convincing, a careful examination will reveal that subtleties in shaping and colour have been lost, and the collector must aim to discern this at a glance.
Korea is situated to the north of China, and is a peninsula adjoining Manchuria and pointing south towards Japan. The pottery and porcelain made there has strong characteristics of its own both in shape and decoration. The finest wares were made in the Koryu period, which lasted from A.D. 936 to 1392, and was roughly contemporary with the Sung period in China. In the following Yi period, the making of many of the earlier types of wares continued.
The most typical Koryu pieces are of hard stoneware with a celadon glaze. Decoration took various forms: incising under the glaze is common, but the most interesting is the use of inlay. The pattern was cut into the article with a tool, and the incisions filled with black or white clay. The Koreans were very skilled at this work, and it is possible that they were the first to perfect it.
Distinctive features of many of the Korean celadons are that where the bare clay is exposed it shows a red colour, and usually the low foot ring and convex base is glazed all over. Most bases show also three or more small marks where they have stood on 'stilts' in the kiln; the 'stilts' being used to prevent the melted glaze from sticking to the floor or to any other piece being fired.
To many Western eyes Korean wares have a refreshing and attractive character that reveals no trace at all of the European influences so common in Chinese pieces. Apart from the celadons, little is known about other types of ware found in both Korea and China, and which may have originated in either country.
A large quantity of Chinese porcelain had been exported to different parts of the western nations and they also had enough for the local markets. Chinese potters and craftsmen have always been careful copyists, and their work in porcelain is no exception. The finest wares of the Korean were made and are found in the Koryu. The difference between the Korean wares is that the Koreans have a refreshing and attractive character that reveals no trace at all of the European influences so common in Chinese pieces.
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Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for www.kids-games-n-crafts.com/ , www.mycoinstips.info/ , www.bathroomaccessoriesmadeeasy.info/
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