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Chinese Porcelain Factories
The names of no less than fifty-seven manufactories of porcelain are recorded. In locating these we will use the eighteen provinces into which the Central Empire was divided under the reign of Keen-long, thirteen of which contained porcelain factories.
Crackle Porcelain
Crackle porcelain is one of the most peculiar productions of the art of the Chinese potter, and has not been successfully imitated elsewhere.
The high prices that jades command, even in China, have made a great demand for a kind of chalcedony, which the sharp merchants of Canton sell to strangers for genuine jade.
Metal Vases And Bronzes - Chinese
The manufacture of metal vases of gold, copper, iron and bronze dates back in China to a very remote period, which is fixed both by the style of the characters used and by the names inscribed.
Symbolical Ornaments Used In The Decoration Of Chinese Bronzes
In the religion of the Chinese the worship of their ancestors forms a very important feature, and vases which commemorated their virtues were handed down from generation to generation and guarded with religious devotion.
Symbolical Ornaments
We are so much accustomed here, as well as in Europe, to ornament being applied to works of art simply to please the eye, that we are apt to think that the same rule prevails everywhere.
Chinese Symbols On Porcelain
The first to be noticed are the peculiar figures which have been termed symbols, and which are more usually found on Chinese than on Japanese porcelain. These symbols are generally eight in number.
Buddhist Symbols On Porcelain
Two fishes, Yum united by fillets, allude to domestic felicity. A freshwater fish, like a perch, called Fu, was supposed to go about in pairs, faithful to each other.
Other Symbolical Devices - Chinese Porcelain
The circular figure in the centre is the mystical device, the Yang and Yin, the male and female elements of nature. This device is frequently employed as an ornament in China.
The Eight Immortals
The Pa Sien, or eight immortals, are legendary beings of the Taoist sect, said to have lived at various times and attained immortality.
Emblems Of Longevity
The peach is a symbol of marriage, but also of longevity. Great virtues were attributed to the peach, especially that which grew near the palace of Si Wang Mu, Queen of the Genii, on which the fruit ripened but once in three thousand years.
Pottery And Porcelain - Japanese
Japanese legends attribute the invention of pottery to Oosei-tsumi, who lived long before 660 B. C., the beginning of the historical period of Japan.
Lacquer - Japanese
Lacquer is the vehicle most exclusively identified with Japanese art and art industries. The date of its first application is lost in the mistiness of tradition.
Varities Of Japanese Lacquer
Tsugaru lacquer presents an appearance marbled in red, brown and green veins. A first coat of black is applied mixed with white of egg or bean powder, then tamped with a ball of cotton to produce irregularities on the surface.
Japanese Swords
In no country has the sword been made an object of such honor as in Japan. The most minute detailed etiquette presided over it. It is at once a divine symbol, a knightly weapon, and a certificate of noble birth.
Celebrated Swords And Makers - Japanese
Old weapons are frequently presented to Kami shrines, especially those dedicated to Hachiman and Dai Jin Gu. The following are some of the numberless renowned blades and their forgers.
Bronzes - Japanese
In bronze and other metals the Japanese need fear no comparison, within a certain range of subjects, with the best work which Europe can show.
Painting - Japanese
In the beginning of the XIVth century appeared the celebrated painters Kao, Meicho, Josetsu, Shubun, and others. These great painters had studied the Chinese paintings of the Tsang and Kin dynasties.
Carvings - Japanese
Of all the carved work of the Japanese, the most wonderful and interesting are the ivories called Netsukes. These consist of groups of animals and grotesque figures and representations, indeed of nearly every natural object in Japan, most truthfully rendered.
Cloisonne Enamel
Great quantities of cloisonne enamels are annually exported from China and Japan. The general style of the Chinese decorations on these objects is similar to that on their bronzes.
Prehistoric Ceramic Art
The Ceramic Art is the oldest and most universally practiced of all the arts. It was admired before any knowledge or experience of Sculpture or Painting existed.
Egyptian Pottery
The Egyptians, centuries before our era, produced small objects such as amulets, charms, small figures of gods, scarabei, etc., by carving them in a kind of soapstone, which was covered with glaze and baked, thus producing a kind of pottery.
Assyrian Pottery
Assyrian pottery was the stepping-stone from Egyptian to Grecian, and is principally known by bricks of a slightly rose-white earth, with a surface not enamelled but covered with a glaze, the predominant color of which is the turquoise blue.
Persian Pottery
Persian earthenware and fayence are of many kinds, but our knowledge regarding their production is so uncertain that it is difficult to affix any accurate dates.
Phoenician Pottery
Some writers claim that the common pottery of Phoenicia was primeval with that of Egypt. At first the Phoenicians made a very simple unglazed and undecorated pottery, gray in color, and copied nature or drew upon their imagination for forms.
Grecian Pottery
Clay pottery may be said to have reached its perfection under the artistic hands of the Greeks, whose exquisite shapes, designs and decorations, perfecting the slow progress of the Egyptians, raised it from the position of merely filling household wants, to that of a vehicle for expressing the rapid and wonderful development of Greek art.
Etruria Pottery
Vases of beautiful design, ornamented in relief, and with paintings in black outline, have received the name of Etruscan vases, but of late years it has been clearly proven that the most of these are of Greek origin, only copies having been made in Etruria.
Roman Pottery
Roman pottery owes it origin, as do all the Roman arts, to the Greeks. Both potters and artists were brought to Rome as prisoners, were liberated, and induced or forced to produce.
Spain And Majorca Pottery
Majolica, if correctly applied, would designate only lustred stanniferous enamelled ware produced upon the island. But modern custom has made the word apply to all the Italian enamelled wares produced since the time of Lucca della Robbia.
Italy Pottery
The earliest date upon a piece of Italian lustred ware is 1489. After 1570 its production decreased rapidly. The earlier Italian lustred pieces are now called Mezzo-Majolica, because, unlike the majolica ware, they were lead and not tin glazed.
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