Discover over 3000 years of Chinese history and culture through surviving artefacts, objects and texts.
Greenwares from the Yue Kilns in Zhejiang Province
High-fired green-glazed ceramics were first made in east China more than 3,000 years ago. The earliest pieces imitated the shapes and decoration of bronze ritual vessels. Later wares were made for daily use and for burial in tombs. Many burial wares were ceramic models that showed aspects of daily life, such as cooking stoves or domestic animals. From about AD 300 onwards, the Yue kilns began producing inkstones and waterdroppers for calligraphers. In the Tang dynasty (AD 618-906) the wares were used for tea-drinking. They were much admired and praised by poets.
'In the breezes and mists of autumn the Yue kilns are opened to reveal the brilliant greens of a thousand mountains.'
(Lu Guimeng, died AD 881)