Fourteenth-Century Blue-And-White: A Group of Chinese Porcelains in the Topkapu Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

Fourteenth-Century Blue-And-White: A Group of Chinese Porcelains in the Topkapu Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

Fourteenth-Century Blue-And-White: A Group of Chinese Porcelains in the Topkapu Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

Fourteenth-Century Blue-And-White: A Group of Chinese Porcelains in the Topkapu Sarayi Muzesi, Istanbul

Excerpt

Attempts to assign pre-Ming dates to Chinese porcelains decorated in underglaze cobalt blue are by no means new, but they have never ceased to be troublesome; certainly no general agreement in the matter has been reached beyond the fact that such porcelains do exist. More than 20 years ago Hobson wrote tentatively of Sung and Yüan blue-and-white, and the types of wares he singled out for these early honors are well known. Since that time, although the words Sung and Yüan have been bandied about rather freely, there would appear to be little consistency in the nature of the wares to which they have been applied, and on the whole very little progress has been made. The one irrefutable fact is that in the matter of Sung blue-and-white there are no facts whatever to deal with. Word has been spread abroad that such and such pieces have been "excavated from Sung tombs," but no witnesses have come forth, no documents have turned up, and, most unhappily of all, the pieces themselves have shown no characteristics that link them conclusively to the Sung Dynasty or indeed any qualities that distinguish them clearly from other wares usually considered to be early blue-and-white.

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