Travelogues

National Palace Museum – Qing Dynasty Porcelain 清代陶瓷器

From a blank body to decorating and glazing to firing, techniques from the Qing Dynasty certainly exceeded those of previous periods.

Soft-colored porcelain was created during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when lead powder was mixed with the paints. This way, each color could show different shades.

清 康熙 琺瑯彩黃地花卉紋碗
Bowl with floral decoration in falangcai polychrome enamels on yellow ground, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795)

清 康熙 琺瑯彩黃地花卉紋碗 Bowl with floral decoration in falangcai polychrome enamels on yellow ground, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795)

This bowl shape is called “gong bowl”. The inside of the bowl is plain white without any decorations, the fetus is delicate, the glaze is blue, and the eggshell is blue, which is the characteristic of white porcelain in the Kangxi period. The outer wall of the bowl is made of yellow material, and four blooming peonies are painted, together with four small peonies that bloom, and the green leaves are used as a backdrop to form a composition of tangled peonies.

清 康熙 琺瑯彩黃地牡丹碗 Bowl with peonies on a yellow ground in painted enamels, Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign (1662-1722)

The flower parts are matched with two colors, red flowers are outlined with red lines, and blue and purple flowers are also treated in the same way. The processing method of this color flower part has generally inherited this principle until Qianlong. The roots of the petals are heavier in color, while the petal ends gradually become lighter, and the end of each petal is colored with white material to show the thickness of the petals. The branches and leaves are outlined in black color, stretched and staggered, and the leaves are curled and each has an expression. Although it is a patterned painting method, it also appears vivid. There is a ‧2 cm concave string pattern under the rim of the outer wall of the bowl and on the foot wall, which is the boundary of the application color. From below the line to the outer foot wall, it is astringent, so that the color glaze is easier to adhere to the porcelain surface. In the early production of Kangxi enamel, when the white porcelain body was fired in Jingdezhen, the part where the enamel material was applied was first reserved as astringent; there was a white edge under the foot wall, which was also colored with white material and colored with yellow material. The ground is connected, so that the outer wall of the bowl is full of color from the edge of the mouth to the bottom of the foot. There are flat marks on the sole of the foot, and the inner sole of the foot is in blue material with “Kangxi Royal Commission” in Song typeface, with a thin inner and a thick frame.

清 康熙 琺瑯彩黃地蓮花紋淺碗 Bowl with lotus in yellow ground of falangcai painted enamels, Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign (1662-1722)

This bowl has an extravagant mouth, narrow lip, shallow arc abdomen, and short circle feet. The inside of the vessel is usually without lines, the outer wall is yellow glaze, and the lotus pond is painted with lotus, among which are decorated with arrowhead mushrooms and calamus. The bottom of the vessel bears the “Kangxi imperial” two-line red regular script script, plus two sides.

清 康熙 宜興胎畫琺瑯萬壽長春海棠式壺 
Yixing begonia-style teapot with symbols of longevity in painted enamels, Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign (1662-1722)

清 康熙 宜興胎畫琺瑯萬壽長春海棠式壺 Yixing begonia-style teapot with symbols of longevity in painted enamels, Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign (1662-1722)

There are two teapots that are in the collection with similar shape of a begonia. The shape of this pot is slightly smaller than the other one, the decoration and colour glaze are different. The cover is painted with okra and daisies, and the rim of the lip cover is painted with tender green; the outer wall of the pot is painted with peach fruit, peach blossom and two peony, and the other two sides are painted with rose flowers. The fetus is slightly thicker, with transparent glaze all over the surface. The book “Kangxi Imperial System” on the bottom of the pot is written in regular four-character yellow material with double circles. The old account of this pot in “The Archives of Enamel, Glass, Yixing, and Magnetic Tire Furnishings” is called “Yixing Tire Painting Enamel Longevity Changchun Begonia-style Pot, one piece with missing cover.” The main decoration of this vessel is that the peach fruit and peach blossom on both sides of the pot symbolize longevity, and the rose flowers on the other two sides symbolize changchun, which means “Longevity and Changchun”. It is commonly known as the “Begonia shape”, indicating that this pot is the “Yixing enamel enamel Longevity Begonia-style pot” on the tent, and the lid has a few missing spots, which also coincides with the “lid missing”.

清 康熙 宜興胎畫琺瑯提梁壺
Yixing loop-handled teapot in painted enamels, Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign (1662-1722)

清 康熙 宜興胎畫琺瑯提梁壺
Yixing loop-handled teapot in painted enamels, Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign (1662-1722)

Yixing Tire Painting Enamel Handle Pot, less than 8 cm in height, small and cute overall. The lid button is made of a strange animal, applied with yellow and green enamel material, the three legs are in a wishful shape, and the two sides of the ampulla are decorated with folded roses and chrysanthemums. Three-printed decorations such as a round “Shou” and “卍” on the two sides are embossed under the handle, which combined with the yellow rose flower represents the auspicious meaning of “Longevity and Changchun”. The yellow material book at the bottom of the ware has a four-character “Kangxi imperial system” in regular script, with thick and thin double circles. When the wooden box was prepared in the sixth year of Qianlong, the pot was called “a Yixing enamel enamel-shaped pot made in the reign of Emperor Kangxi.” In the 15th year of Daoguang, the word “small” was added to the “Furniture File”, which was recorded as “a small Yixing enamel enamel small handle pot with sticky feet.”  

It can be seen that the pot was broken and glued in the fifteenth year of Daoguang, and there are still joint marks. The Qing palace archives truthfully record the collection and preservation of cultural relics at that time, that is, the report on the status of the museum today. In addition, the original wooden box has been passed down to this day, and it is now displayed in the main hall 207 showroom together with the pot, which is extremely precious.

清 康熙 孔雀綠釉獸面紋鈁
Square vase with animal mask in turquoise blue glaze, Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign (1662-1722)

清 康熙 孔雀綠釉獸面紋鈁 Square vase with animal mask in turquoise blue glaze, Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign (1662-1722)

清 雍正 綠釉八寶盤 
Babao (eight treasures) plate with green glaze, Yongzheng reign (1723-1735), Qing dynasty

清 雍正 綠釉八寶盤 Babao (eight treasures) plate with green glaze, Yongzheng reign (1723-1735), Qing dynasty

The plate is extravagant mouth, shallow wall, flat bottom, short circle feet. The inner and outer walls of the vessel are covered with emerald green glaze, with small openings appearing on the glaze surface. The outer wall is engraved with the eight-treasure pattern of the branch lotus, and the upper and lower sides are decorated with three lines. White glaze on the bottom, with two-line script in the blue and white calligraphy “Yongzheng Year of the Qing Dynasty”, plus double circles. Contrasting with the record of Tang Ying’s “Tao Cheng Chronicle Stele”, this product can be regarded as a kind of “pouring green vessel” or “western green vessel” in Tang Ying’s writing because of its bright glaze.

清 雍正 琺瑯彩黃地赭墨山水盤 
Plate with brown and black landscape in yellow ground and falangcai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng reign (1723-1735)

清 雍正 琺瑯彩黃地赭墨山水盤 Plate with brown and black landscape in yellow ground and falangcai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng reign (1723-1735)

This dish is extravagant and slightly sharp, shallow-walled, and short-footed. The porcelain color is different inside and outside, the outer wall is bright yellow, and the inner wall is painted with ochre ink on the pure white glaze with a landscape picture: the distant mountains and the shimmering lake shore, the willow tree under the boat, the figure in the boat is playing the flute. Such watery lakes and mountains, as well as the activities of the characters full of wild fun, are echoing the inscription of the ink script written on the top of the script: “Wildness is rainy in time, mountains are mixed in summer and clouds are numerous”. The poem is a question of the Tang Dynasty “Summer Fairy Pavilion” Should system poetry” sentence. In addition, the first seal of “Shou Ru” depicted in the red material before the poem, and the two seals of “Mountain High” and “Water Long” at the end of the poem are combined into auspicious words “Shou as a mountain, high and water long”. There is a blue and white writing on the bottom of the plate. “Yongzheng Years of the Qing Dynasty” with six characters and two lines. This plate is a work with auspicious meaning created by the court of the Yongzheng dynasty.

清 雍正 松石綠釉茶杯 
Teacup in opaque yellowish-green glaze, Yung-cheng reign (1723-1735), Ch’ing dynasty

清 雍正 松石綠釉茶杯 Teacup in opaque yellowish-green and pale turquoise glaze, Yung-cheng reign (1723-1735), Ch’ing dynasty

Open mouth, deep arc wall, short circle feet. The white glaze in the vessel has no patterns, and the outer wall is light green glaze. The glaze is light green and elegant, and the glaze is covered with fine cracks. The bottom of the blue-and-white script “Yongzheng Period of the Qing Dynasty” is a six-character two-line regular script, with a double circle. Generally speaking, this evenly light greenish and slightly yellowish one is called blowing green, or it is described as the delicate feeling that it can be broken by blowing, or it is named because it is made by blowing glaze technique. Blowing green is the representative glaze color of the low-temperature copper green glaze of the Yongzheng Dynasty, and it is mostly seen in the small ware. Because the color of the glaze is difficult to control, there are dozens of blown green glaze cups in this hospital, almost all of which have a color difference, some are greenish, some are yellowish. For this type of small-sized bowl, the Qing Dynasty Rehabilitation Committee ordered the catalogue to be handed over. The original product is called “Yongzheng Turquoise Green Tea Cup”. There are two types: sloping mouth and open mouth.

Open mouth, deep arc wall, short circle feet. The inner white glaze has no patterns, the outer wall is covered with turquoise green glaze, the glaze is light blue and elegant, and the glaze is covered with finely divided transparent slices. The bottom of the blue-and-white script “Yongzheng Period of the Qing Dynasty” is a six-character two-line regular script, with a double circle. The turquoise green glaze is added to the white porcelain floor and the second low-temperature firing technique is seen in the early Ming Dynasty, but such elegant and dignified vessels were first seen in the Yongzheng dynasty. There are very few turquoise green glaze wares handed down from the Yongzheng dynasty, and dozens of pieces are blown green. This is the only one in the small glaze bowl and the turquoise green glaze. During the Yongzheng period, many porcelains had to be fired and presented before they could be fired after the Yongzheng Emperor approved it. This shows that the Yongzheng Emperor’s strict requirements on imperial porcelains, and the good taste of the Yongzheng Emperor itself is one of the factors that make the Yongzheng porcelain exquisite. Small bowls of this size may be used for tea. The Qing Dynasty Rehabilitation Committee ordered the original product name “Yongzheng Turquoise Green Tea Cup”.

清 雍正 琺瑯彩鴝鵒秋光圖杯 
Cups with mynah in falangcai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng reign, 1723-1735

清 雍正 琺瑯彩鴝鵒秋光圖杯 Cups with mynah in falangcai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng reign, 1723-1735

Constricted mouth, deep wall, short ringed feet. A thin white moat, a maple tree painted on the outer wall, and four ocher scorpions. The title: “The magpie’s song conveys happiness.” The red material depicts “Jia Li” with a seal,

and the blue material book “Yongzheng Years” in the four Song type characters at the bottom.

清 雍正 仿哥釉六楞雙耳瓶
Hexagonal vase with tubular handles imitating Ge-ware glaze, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng reign (1723-1735)

清 雍正 仿哥釉六楞雙耳瓶 Hexagonal vase with tubular handles imitating Ge-ware glaze, Qing dynasty, Yongzheng reign (1723-1735)

Constricted mouth, long neck, large abdomen, short ringed feet. The whole body is decorated with six edges, the neck is decorated with two arch-shaped ears, and there are two long square holes. The fetal bone is slightly thicker, with a grayish-blue color, covered with black patches. The soles of the feet are exposed and coated with deep ocher juice. There is a six-seal inscription in the blue and white calligraphy “Yongzheng Year of the Qing Dynasty”.

清 乾隆 粉彩鏤空雲龍紋轉心冠架
Hatstand with openwork of dragon and clouds in fencai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795)

清 乾隆 粉彩鏤空雲龍紋轉心冠架 Hatstand with openwork of dragon and clouds in fencai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795)

It is shaped like a high-footed plate, with a hollowed-out cloud dragon play bead with a cover and a round flower diffuser, with a small button in the center that can be rotated. A small bottle with a hollow cloud bat revolving heart on the pillar and sleeve, with two live rings on the bottleneck. The fetus is thicker, and the whole body is painted with various flowers and gold patterns and patterns. An illustrated description of the London Art Exhibition. The bottom of the blue and white book “Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty” six seal characters.

Beside being a hat holder, it is also censer to scent the hat.

清 乾隆 「脩身理性」款紫砂茶葉末釉琴
Xiushen Lixing purple-granule zither in tealeaf glaze, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795)

清 乾隆 「脩身理性」款紫砂茶葉末釉琴 Xiushen Lixing purple-granule zither in tealeaf glaze, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795)

Imitating the Zhong Niqin style, the fetus is slightly thin, the whole body is covered with eel yellow glaze, the glaze is uneven, and the dark fetal color is exposed in many places. There are spots of various colors such as blue, purple and moon white in the kiln on the mountain and under the abdomen. The qin emblem is filled with white glaze, and the wild goose feet and Zhen are both white jade. Long lips, Yueshan, Zhencao, and goose foot holes are unglazed, showing gray-black tires.

The four-line poem “Visa terracotta, made from Hongmeng. The kite flies and fishes for the south wind” is engraved in the seal script in Longchi. The head of the piano is tied with seven silk threads, and each silk ear is tied with a jade bead. The four-character piano name “self-cultivation rational” is also engraved in Fengzhao in seal script. The head of the piano is engraved with the Qianlong Emperor’s chant “Song Porcelain Qin”: “The gingival and the forehead are restored and the archaic artifacts are made of Lei Xiao, and the easy lacquer is nothing. At the beginning of Wei Chu, the broken lines on the Jiao tail can be discarded, the five strings and seven strings are only placed by you, and the vowels follow from the beginning. For example, the essence of the face is the essence of the face, and there is no fire within the chong.”

Imperial poetry. At the end of the poem, there is an inscription “Qianlong Bingyin Autumn August Imperial Reward and Inscription” (Eleventh Year of Qianlong: 1746), and two seals of “Qianlong Chenhan” and “Jixian Linchi” are also attached. It is handed down with a piece of brocade and a black lacquer box. The surface of the box is not only engraved with the same imperial poems as the utensils, but also engraved with works by Liang Shizheng and other poets and ministers.

Comparing with the records of the “Live Accounting” in the 11th year of Qianlong (1746), on the 9th day of August of that year, Emperor Qianlong appointed Zhu Cai to engrave the imperial inscriptions on the piano and prepare the “Jin Sang Lacquer Box” for it. Although this work It was completed on October 15th in the twelfth year of Qianlong (1747), but it was finally delivered to the Hongde Hall, and the piano was handed down with kits and lacquer boxes, and the original collection location was also Hongde Hall. It seems that the record in the file should refer to this work.

清 乾隆 紫砂胎紫金釉套杯 配 明 宣德 紫金釉桃形把壺
Purple-granule stacking cup in brown glaze, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795) with Peach-shaped teapot with a handle in brown glaze, Ming dyansty, Xuande reign (1426-1435)

清 乾隆 紫砂胎紫金釉套杯 配 明 宣德 紫金釉桃形把壺
Purple-granule stacking cup in brown glaze, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795) with Peach-shaped teapot with a handle in brown glaze, Ming dyansty, Xuande reign (1426-1435)

Purple sand and purple gold glaze set of cups, from five large to small, small cups that can be fitted in sequence are stacked together as a complete set, commonly known as set of cups. It uses purple sand as the tire, the outer wall is covered with purple gold glaze, and the cup is inlaid with metal after firing. The whole is elegant and rich. The Zisha cup set was visible at the late Ming Dynasty at the tomb of Zhao Xizhang in the tenth year of Wanli (1582). Among the works in our collection, the “Yongzheng Reign” style copper frame painted enamel yellow ground flower pattern cup set, its overall shape and interest, can also be compared with the purple sand and purple gold glaze cup set. From the purple-gold glaze cup set with its exclusive wooden box and brocade, it may be inferred that it was a tea ware that was treasured by the emperor at that time.

清 乾隆 紫砂胎紫金釉套杯 Purple-granule stacking cup in brown glaze, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign (1736-1795)

Rolled mouth, short neck, full shoulders, large abdomen, flat bottom, curved handle, a tie hole on the top, and a back cover made by the Qing Dynasty. The vessel is made of Xiangsheng porcelain, and the body of the pot symbolizes peach fruit. The surface of the vessel is covered with a peach blossom with branches and leaves, which stretches between the flow and the handle, so that the flow mouth becomes a half-open bud, which is vivid and realistic. The lid is made in the shape of a four-petal melon pedicle, which was added in the Qing Dynasty. The original lid should be a folded five-petal peach blossom button lid, which is the same as the red-glazed peach-shaped pot unearthed in Jingdezhen. The whole body of the pot is covered with purple gold glaze, and the inside and bottom of the pot are covered with white glaze. The fetal bone is thick, the white glaze is greenish, the ring feet are exposed and the fetus is uneven and slightly iron spots. The two-line six-character script in the double-blue line at the bottom of the pot contains the two-line six-character script “Daming Xuande Years”.

明 宣德 紫金釉桃形把壺 Peach-shaped teapot with a handle in brown glaze, Ming dyansty, Xuande reign (1426-1435)

清 道光 粉彩梅花蓋碗
Covered bowl with prunus in fencai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Daoguang reign (1821-1850)

清 道光 粉彩梅花蓋碗 Covered bowl with prunus in fencai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Daoguang reign (1821-1850)

Converging mouth, deep arc wall, short ring foot, with ring top cover, and the cover edge is folded down. The outer wall and cover of the vessel are decorated with colorful paintings. The main pattern is a total of six branches of red and white plum blossoms. The cover is roughly the same as the outer wall of the bowl, except that the green area is painted on the edge of the cover and the red petals are painted. Each layer of patterns is decorated with red double lines. Both the bottom of the lid and the outsole of the bowl are written in four-character double-line script “Shendetang System” in Zhu Shu. “Shendetang” is the hall name of Emperor Daoguang in the Palace of Yuanmingyuan. During the Daoguang period, there were many kinds of utensils recognized as “Shendetang system”, especially covered bowls.

清 光緒 粉彩八寶紋盤
Plate with eight treasures in fencai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Guangxu reign (1874-1908)

清 光緒 粉彩八寶紋盤 Plate with eight treasures in fencai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Guangxu reign (1874-1908)

This type of porcelain was a traditional variety of official kilns in the Qing Dynasty, and was more popular in the middle and late Qing Dynasty. The plate is open, shallow abdomen, oblique abdomen wall, flat bottom, round feet. White glaze is applied to the whole body, and the glaze is bright and shiny. The heart of the pan is separated from the inner wall of the pan with a double-string pattern in gold, the middle is painted with precious flowers in green, and the inner wall of the pan is painted with snails, umbrellas, lids, flowers, pots, fish, intestines, and eight auspicious patterns. The composition is full, the color is gorgeous, and the painting is neat and tidy. It is a fine product of the Qing Dynasty Guangxu official kiln.

清 咸豐 粉彩博古圖方瓶
Square vase with antiques in fencai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Xianfeng reign (1851-1861)

清 咸豐 粉彩博古圖方瓶 Square vase with antiques in fencai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Xianfeng reign (1851-1861)

A square bottle with extravagant mouth, narrow neck, long abdomen inwardly toward the bottom, bottom edge folded inward, and short circle feet outward. Powder blue glaze is applied to the inner wall and the inner wall of the ring, and the outer wall is blue-green glaze. The neck and abdomen are opened on all sides, and purple flowers and red fruit trees are painted on the neck; the pictures of Taiping, purple peony, yellow chrysanthemum, and red fruit trees are painted on the abdomen. The turquoise ground is covered with a lotus pattern with tangled branches, a circle of lotus petals is painted on the bottom, and a blue pattern is painted on the foot circle.

清 同治 粉彩黃地梅鵲紋碗
Bowl with prunus and magpies in yellow ground and fencai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Tongzhi reign (1862-1874)

清 同治 粉彩黃地梅鵲紋碗 Bowl with prunus and magpies in yellow ground and fencai polychrome enamels, Qing dynasty, Tongzhi reign (1862-1874)

Extravagant bowl, deep arc wall, short ring foot. The fetal bones are thin, and the outside is light yellow glaze, painted with folded branches of plum blossoms, decorated with eight magpies in ocher ink, and three gold lines on the mouth and feet. The inner surface is pure white glaze, plain and without ornamentation. The outsole heart script “Tongzhi Years” double-line vermilion regular script.

About the National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院) was originally founded within the walls of the Beijing Forbidden City in 1925, the present-day National Palace Museum moved to Taipei’s Shilin District following the Republic of China government relocation in 1949 with an official opening for the public in 1965.

Over 600,000 of the most precious artefacts within the collection were moved to Taiwan to prevent their desecration during and after the Chinese Civil War. 

Due to the enormous numbers of collection spreads over 4 floors and 2 exhibition halls, the museum’s exhibits continuously rotate, as only a small percentage of the museum’s collection can be displayed at a given time to prevent wear and tear, so there will always be a new series of collection being exhibited on each visit! 

Date Visited : Oct 2018

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