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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chinese Porcelain

Porcelain was discovered during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), but the craft only start developing to it potential during the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279 AD). During the Song Dynasty period, imperial factories were built for the sole purpose of creating porcelain decorations for the imperial palaces.

The techniques for manufacturing porcelain eventually spread to China and Korea by the 1100s and to Europe by the 1500s. Chinese porcelain remained the benchmark by which all else was measured.

At its heyday, over one million people were engaged in the creation of porcelain in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen, which was established by the emperor as the imperial capital of porcelain. All this come to end with the downfall of the emperor in 1912.
Collectors still regard many porcelain vases and bowls made during the half-millennium of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644-1912) as best porcelain every made. The blue and white under-glaze with overlaid enamel colors perfected in the Ming dynasty, and the variety of colors and patters developed in the Qing Dynasty were highly sought after in Europe.
Although it is moderately expensive in China, the high shipping costs meant that only to Europe meean the very wealthy could afford “Chinaware” in Europe.

This become an opportunity for the local businessman. European artisans tried to emulate the Chinese creations on their own - "soft paste" porcelain.
The English also developed their own version of the Chinese porcelain. The "Bone China" was born around 1750. The Bone China used a mixed of burned animal, Chinese kaolin and petuntse, making the porcelain harder than soft-paster, but still not as durable as the Chinese porcelain.
The pen shown here is a porcelain pen from Duke. A Chinese made pen that uses german nib. While the porcelain is not of high quality, it does mean us a idea. The cost of the pen is about 1/20 of the Arita pen. Therefore, one cannot expect the high quality finsihing of the Arita. However, it does have a decent good look.
The nib is made of steel with iridium point, a silvery-white transition metal of the platinum family, iridium is the second densest element and is the most corrosion-resistant metal. This is the first time that we purchased this pen with this type of nib. It will be our daily pen for the next few months. We will follow up with a updates later.
In the meantime, we hope you had been enjoying the pictures and information that we share witht the community.

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