VERY HARD TO FIND.; Ming pottery and porcelain, dating from China's Renaissance period between the mid fourteenth and mid seventeenth centuries, has influenced the way people serve food and decorate their buildings from Europe to East Africa.
In imperial China, ceramics were needed for the daily use of the emperors and their households as well as for the performance of sacred and secular rites. Inscribed vessels were presented to Buddhist, Daoist and Confucian temples, and pottery replicas were required after death to furnish the deceased with houses, servants and food for the afterlife. Glazed architectural ceramics have been found throughout China. Beyond its borders, high-quality porcelains were bestowed as diplomatic gifts, while lesser wares were widely traded internationally. The British Museum holds the world's broadest collection Ming ceramics, here published for the first time in its entirety. Nearly a thousand items are illustrated, identified, dated and discussed, incorporating the most up-to-date archaeological discoveries and scientific research previously available only in Chinese or specialist journals. The author first provides an accessible historical context, followed by stimulating essays on the porcelain industry, trade and diplomacy, and aspects of social life and burials in the Ming dynasty. Each chapter of the catalogue is then introduced with a brief summary of its defining characteristics. New and revised translations are given for every inscription, with transcriptions in printed Chinese characters. Every entry is illustrated with specially commissioned colour photography. A wealth of additional information, much of it never before published in English, is clearly presented for ease of reference in chronologies, maps, appendices, glossary and bibliography. The result is an essential book for any collector, student or scholar.
Published by British Museum Press, London, 2001
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