Chinese Pot Buying Guide

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Chinese Pot Buying Guide

Chinese pots are both functional and stylish. While traditionally used for more practical purposes, in modern times, they commonly function as decoration around the home. These pieces of art come in a wide variety of styles.

 

Materials

Several different materials are used in the formation of Chinese pots. While many pots are moulded from clay, others are made from porcelain.

 

Type

Characteristics

Feldspar

Consists of tectosilicate minerals; helps make up Chinese porcelain; acts as a flux

Kaolin

Mainly made of the clay, Kaolinite; makes up a large part of porcelain; gives porcelain its shiny, glossy exterior

Clay

Can be strengthened by firing and made waterproof

Quartz

Makes up part of Chinese porcelain; common mineral in the earth's core; has chemical stability not affected by glazing

 

Types of Chinese Pots

Early Chinese civilisations widely used earthenware pots. Highly coveted for their rich history, these pieces are less durable than more modern varieties. On the other hand, tri-coloured stoneware characterises Tang Dynasty pots, which originated in Northern China during the period in question. Still, celadon ceramic pots are appreciated for their green glaze; these originated in seventh century China. It was not until the Song Dynasty in 960 AD that white antique Chinese porcelain pots saw production. These kinds feature a smooth texture, similar to jade. Many have become notable for their moulded decorations. Similarly, antique blue and white porcelain pots, which were produced during the Yuan Dynasty, feature a smooth, shiny texture and intricate designs.

 

Condition

Damage to a Chinese pot can greatly affect its condition, and thus, its overall value. Thus, look for chips or cracks. Marks on the surface can also lessen its worth as can glaze contractions—small spots where a hole or recess appears. To preserve its value, consider placing it in a carry case for safe transport. A glass display case also proves useful for a decorative display.

 

Antique Chinese Pots

Many Chinese pots are classified as antique due to their age. Although often not marked with the factory of origin, their physical appearance can help date the art form. Therefore, take into account the shape, body, glaze, cobalt, foot rim, and decoration. Moreover, examine it for signs of discolouration or glaze deterioration; both should be absent in genuine pots, even in antique pieces. Likewise, examine the pottery for signs of repair. Chinese antique pots were often mended with metal staples.

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