The study of Chinese ceramics has, until now, been severely hampered by lack of archaeological evidence, particularly with regard to dating. There are good representative collections in Western museums, but very few items can be given a precise, or even an approximate, date on firm evidence. Since the establishment of the People'’s Republic of China in 1949, random looting of tombs, the source of most early ceramics in Western collections, had been stopped, and the Chinese authorities have carried out many important controlled excavations.
A small proportion of the early objects was revealed in “''The Genious of China''”, an exhibition shown in London and Paris in 1973-74, and carefully prepared articles on the archaeological and art-historical work have been published in Chinese periodicals. However, much of the important evidence still awaits publication. The author of this book had exceptional opportunities to visit provincial museums and art-historical research institutes in China in the years 1972 to 1975. He took notes and photographs of exhibits to which a precise, or reasonably close, date can be given on good evidence. This important material is published here for the first time in the West. The book is arranged in chronological order with the author’s comments beneats each object. Additional material includes a map of China showing major tomb sites and a chronological index. This scholarly work presents an exciting and vital contribution towards establishing the chronology of Chinese ceramics.
Published by Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications by Philip Wilson Publishers Limited, London, 1978
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