Mingqi Granaries :
Farming started some 11 thousand years ago. Granaries were important to early settled communities throughout the world, they marked a social change between those who lived hand-to-mouth and those who had enough to sustain themselves over different seasons or even years. Having more than you needed for that moment also gave way to the possibility of trade. They were a symbol of stability, wealth and therefore power, so it is perhaps unsurprising that granaries were an important part of Chinese Mingqi ceramics, ceramics models made to be buried with the dead for use in the next world.
Qingbai Ware :
The earliest known qingbai wares were produced in Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province around the late 10th century and are characterized by faint pale-blue glazes on low, wide forms. Qingbai continued to be enormously popular and highly produced throughout the Song dynasty (960-1279) and was prevalent in the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), but slackened during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) until being replaced by tianbai, ‘sweet white’ ware. The initial forms of qingbai were simple bowls and dishes, but by the mid-Northern Song the forms had advanced to include a wide variety of objects used for daily life such as ewers, boxes, incense burners, granary models, vases, jars, sculptures, cups, cupstands, water droppers, lamps, grave wares, and tools for writing and painting. The precedent for the majority of these forms is found in earlier metalwork and lacquer and Rawson has suggested that the imitation of silver was the primary force behind the production of white wares, including qingbai. See our `History` section for more information about Song Porcelain and Stoneware by Mindy M. McDonald.