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Introduction and history

The Yuan dynasty (1280–1368) was established after the Mongols conquered and consolidated the Northern Jin in 1234 and the Southern Song in 1279. Kilns that had been producing ceramics in the earlier dynasties were encouraged to continue their production. Of the kilns located throughout China, Jingdezhen of Jiangxi province was particularly prosperous. Before controlling the entirety of China, the Yuan authority established the Fuliang Porcelain Bureau in 1278, and in 1283 the Bureau of Imperial Manufacture to supervise craftsmen who were employed to produce luxury goods for the imperial household. Porcelain production was a vital industry in the Yuan dynasty as it generated considerable export profits. Taxes from trade vessels were collected by customs officials, while Ortoghs—West Asian merchant groups—operated trading businesses, along with semi-state-controlled organisations that were administrated in major coastal port cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou and Quanzhou. With such a vast market and soaring demand, the Yuan soon became a golden age for the development and innovation of the ceramics industry. The Mongols conquered vast areas of land across Eurasia, in turn fostering frequent cultural exchange. Many exotic material cultures were assimilated—especially from West Asia and Tibet—which Yuan ceramics then incorporated into their forms and motifs to appeal to the overseas export markets. Yuan ceramics succeeded in both inheriting the Song traditions and innovating with exotic means of production that left an invaluable legacy on the Ming dynasty through global export.






地址:香港薄扶林般咸道90號 地圖顯示位置

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