Q&A: Qingbai Yuan Vase


Late Song/Yuan Dynasty Qingbai Vase

There were many kilns active in the Southern part of China during the Song and Yuan dynasty producing the bluish white Qingbai wares.

The white wares with a slightly bluish tinge, sometimes bordering to Celadon, enjoyed a widespread popularity as well within China as on the many exports markets.

During the end of Song and into the Yuan dynasty we can notice a simplified manner of production with molded rather then cut or incised decoration, with the now more space filling pattern often applied in bands encircling the piece.

The outside is decorated with an impressed pattern of lotus flowers and petals, covered with bluish white Qingbai glaze on a white tranclucent body fired red where unglazed. The size is rather limited with an height of 5 3/8 inches or 13 cm.

As for a date I would like to suggest Late Southern Song (1127-1279) to Yuan (1279-1368) dynasty. A similar vase is also illustrated by Jan Wirgin in his "Sung Ceramic Designs" as pl. 34, as belonging to the Carl Kempe Collection (CKc 571).

Jan-Erik Nilsson