A Rare Miniature Song Qingbai Porcelain Incense Stick Holder

Song Dynasty 12th Century

A Rare Miniature Song Qingbai Porcelain Incense Stick Holder, probably Jingdezhen, perhaps Hutian kilns, 12th Century. Finely potted this miniature has a a fine deep greenish-blue glaze pooling in the center of the incense holder. The earliest known qingbai wares were produced in Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province around the late 10th century and are characterised 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, cup-stands, 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.

Condition
In excellent condition, minor crazing.
Size
Height 3.5 cm (1 /13 inches)
Provenance
From a Private Collection of Song Ceramics.
Stock number
24535
£ 680
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Qingbai Porcelain

The earliest known qingbai wares were produced in Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province around the late 10th century and are characterised 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, cup-stands, 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.