Antique Chinese Porcelain collector's expert page, Ming, dynasty, Chinese porcelain marks

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Bizen potteries

Japanese center at Imbe in the Bizen province (modern Okayama Prefecture) - one of the "six old kilns" of Japan, where in the 12th-14th centuries many of the technical advances in Japanese ceramics were made. Bizen wares were one of the first types of Japanese pottery used for the tea ceremony; wares that became increasingly important from the 16th century. Their main characteristics are a high fired body, an unglazed coarse texture, natural ash-glaze of shiny gold, orange or blue-green, or charcoal-like patches or red streaks, produced from straw wrapped around vessels which burn in firing and a warm, reddish brown color that can vary with chance effects produced by an oxidizing kiln atmosphere - where oxygen is allowed into the kiln. In the 17th and 18th centuries a smooth ware imitating Chinese Yixing stoneware was made.

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