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The Treasures Of Mr I. C. Su 4

The bonsai pot collection of Mr I. C. Su from Taiwan is one of the finest in the world.

Long Quan Qing Ci

„Long Quan Qing Ci“ was first produced during the dynasties of Wu Dai  to Bei Song. It was developed based on „Yue Gao Qing Ci“ and is therefore an example of southern porcelain.

After the emperor moved to the south, Hangzhou as the capital became the centre of politics, economy and culture.

[Wikipedia tells us about northern and southern dynasty, but Yang thinks it more exact to describe this as the emperor's migration to the south.]

This social transformation played an important role for establishing „Long Quan Gao“ porcelain. Due to the taste of the emperor and the social upper class for high quality porcelain products, elegant shapes were created in order to reach the level of „Song Guan  Gao porcelain“.

In addition to this, great progress was achieved in the glaze recipes.

A higher percentage of feldspar was used while the percentage of calcium oxide was reduced from originally 16% in „Yue Gao“ to 10%. This makes the feldspar stay very viscous and creamy.

A certain chemical element (the word is unfortunately not decipherable any more in the original text) can not exhaust anymore from the viscous glaze and stays in it. This causes a smooth but not glossy surface that makes Long Quan Qing Ci feel like jade.

This piece was auctioned in 1998 in London.


Jün Yao

Jün Yao is a type of flower bulb pot which was exclusively made for the emperor and his family. This kind of bulb pot was produced during the time of Song Huizong (1101-1124).

The kiln was located in Baguadong Yuxiancheng (name of a city / village) in the province of Heinan. Jün Yao was created with great attention to detail. The clay is very fine and hard. The special  features achieved during the firing process are „orange skin“, „needle  eyes“, „earthworm traces“ or „sesame cream crust“.

The glazes look very clean, elegant, colourful, versatile, candid and permissive. Jün Yao was appreciated a lot by the emperor and his family. This led to Jün Yao becoming one of the five greatest types of pots during the Song dynasty (Ru, Guan, Ge, Yün, Ding).

This piece was auctioned at Sotheby's in London. It was made during the early Song dynasty. The glaze is light blue (like the sky after a rain shower) and the pot has a rectangular shape. On the rim of the pot there are rhombic lines.

The feet are wish-fulfilling feet and they are completely glazed. On the bottom, the Chinese character „nine“ is written. The pot is 19 cm long. This piece was displayed in 1980 at an exhibition of Chinese ceramics in London. Three similar pots exist:

The first is in the collection of an art museum in London and was pictured in a book about Chinese ceramics in 1923.

The second is in the David foundation in London. It is also described in a book „Shi Jie Jia Wei Da“ (literally: great world family) in 1982, volume 6, page 49.

The third piece is in the museum of the Forbidden City of Beijing and belongs to the Qunbulan Art Institute.


Colourful enamelled pots „Gu Yue Xuan“(name of the glaze, literally „old – moon – pavilion“)

The Cloisonne technique derives from the occident and was further developed during the Kangxi time of the Qing dynasty. These pots, produced with the advanced technique, are called "Ci Tai Shu Fa Lang" or "Gu Yue Juan".

In the west they were named „multiflowered rose glaze“.

This type of ceramics using white clay was first fired in the kiln of Jing De Zhen (city).

Afterwards it was transferred to the emperor's palace and painted by imperial painters with imported western glazes colours.

Afterwards the ceramics were fired once again. After the double firing the work pieces were colourfully glazed. The painted lines stand out from the coloured glaze. The impression of the surface is thus very plastically. The clay is very delicate and the colours clear and brilliant. These pots were only available for the emperor and his family, they are very valuable and popular.

Pots with "Gu Yue Xuan" characters in the bottom are called "Gu Yue Xuan", coloured  enamel pots. This piece was auctioned at Christie's in London.


Owner of the pots and photographs: I.C. Su

Translation from Chinese to German: Li Yang

Text refinement: Peter Krebs

English translation: Heike van Gunst