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Pottery
Oracle Bone
Jade
Bronze Wears
Chinese Ceramics
Ancient Chinese Currencies
Ancient Chinese Seal
Lacquer wears
Ivory carving
Gold and silver wears
Furniture
Buddhist sculpture
Chinese Silk


      Pottery
        Pottery emerged in the prehistorically neolithic period when human beings started to have a settled life and use fire for living,.The phenomenon that burn mud or clay becomes harder enlightened people to make their daily utensils with mud or clay fire.
       Those pottery are beacutifully potted ware, some vessels showing clear evidence of having been turn on the potter’s wheel. The finest examples, which may have been exclusively funerary in purpose, are ornamented with pattern in black, red and white, the surface generally burnished.           
 
     Oracle Bone

        On the flat surface of bone such as caved ivories and antlers, pottery and bronze vessels, Shang sages incised the earliest surviving examples of Chinese ideographs . The messages are questions addressed to the Gods ,and the sages read the answers by examining the pattern of cracks in the bone after sharp tools had been pressed against them..The oracles often inscribed the questions, such as “ will I be successful in the hunt?”
        From the Shang perspective, human sacrifice was simply part of a remarkably well organized system..The Shang kept a strict calender, with certain sacrifical days devoted to certain ancestors. They were meticulous almost to the point of scientific inquiry. In one instance, a diviner patiently made 70 individual oracle-bone cracks in order to determine which ancestor was responsible for a living king’s toothace.

 
      Jade

       Jade artifacts are very special in Chinese history and culture. In the late period of primitive society, the craftsmanship of jade has reached a very high level and formed its unique characteristics during more than 7,000 years of development. In ancient time jade was not only used for decoration, but also as a symbol of wealth and power, as well as sacrifice to heaven, earth, ghost and God. Due to its unique qualities and pure natural features, the ancients made jade an embodiment of noble human beings. As a saying goes that the noble man would not give away jade without any reasons. Therefore, jade was widely used in people’s lives and became of belief and beauty. Xi’an was a very important place for jade production. This is reflected in Han Shu( History of the Former Han dynasty), a great work in the ancient times, which says that Lantian mountain( a mountain in the city of xi’an) was famous for producing a large amount of beautiful jade. Thousand of years of jade-making tradition made Xi’an rich in jade relics.

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       Bronze Wears

        Shang craftsmen have a special place in world art history: their huge bronze (copper alloyed with 10 to 20 percent tin) decorated ritual vessels, wine cups and weapons are of a standard of skill and artistry that have not been surpassed. Many Shang bronzes bear inscriptions which shed light on their society.
        Tripod vessels originated in the late Neolithic period and were popular in Shang times. Such vessels were used for ritual purposes: others were cooking vessels for sacrificial food. They ranged from cups and goblets which be held in the hand, to gigantic tripod weighing half a ton. Shang bronzes were remarkable for the powerful and elegant design.

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     Chinese Ceramics

       Pottery emerged in the prehistorically Neolithic period when human beings started to have settled life and use fire for living. The phenomenon that burnt mud or clay becomes harder enlightened people to make their daily utensils with mud and clay by firing.
       Pottery is ordinary clay with iron content higher than 3%. The temperature to bake is below 1000 degreed. It is with lower-temperature glaze or no glaze.
      Porcelain is porcelain stone and clay with iron content lower3%. The temperature to bake is over1200 degreed. It is with over-1200 high temperature glaze.

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    Ancient Chinese Currencies
          Money emerged spontaneously in the circulation of commodities. In ancient China, cowries and livestock were used as a medium of exchange in the late Neolithic period. This kind of money substitute was gradually replaced by the -weight metals and cast coins in the Shang and Zhou dynasties. Later the cast coins as the major form of ancient Chinese currency developed very systematically. After Qin’s unification of the country, the round- with-a central-square-hole -coins superseded till the Ming and Qing dynasties, though they varied in style with ages. By the time of Song dynasty Chinese paper notes appeared and were popularly used in Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The silver dollars appeared in the Qing Daoguang reign period, and minted silver and copper coins circulated since the Qing Guangxu reign period. The development of monetary system in the ancient China has a close connection with the history of Chinese economy and politics.
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     Ancient Chinese Seal
              Chinese seals, as a distinctive form of national art including seals and literati’s seal carving, developed from very ancient time. Originated from the designed mould stamps, bronze seals appeared in an embryonic form in the period of Shang and Zhou dynasties. They were first used as an official validation of authority power by high –rank. Since 16th century, the literati of the Ming dynasty combined the art of painting and writing with the art of seal carving, bringing forward the very ingenious and scholarly flavored styles of literati and seal carving.
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    Lacquer wears

       Lacquer is the sap tapped from the lacquer tree which is grown and grows wild in the southern and central China. Dried and kept in the humid atmosphere, it provides a hard, smooth, lustrous, protective and preservative coating, resistant to water, heat and acids. Colors include a range of reds (from cinnabar), black (from iron sulphate), various shade of brown, gold and silver. Lacquer can be applied to almost any material. Pinewood and hemp-cloth form the most usual bases, but others include metal, porcelain and basket ware.

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    Ivory carving

       The carving of ivory can be back to the Shang dynasty, when elephants were not unknown in China. The earliest examples reflect the artistic style of the contemporary bronzes. The later history is little charted until the Song to which a few small  elegant figures may be assigned .It was mainly a material used for figure sculpture which varied in size from a few inches to between two and three feet. They very large piece, mostly 18th and 19th century, display the natural curve of the tusk. In the Ming dynasty it was not uncommon for square seals surmounted by lions to be carved and this type has continued to the present day. In the late 17th century wrist and brush pots were added to the repertory. The soft material made it easy to carve intricate designs with much undercutting, and the best pieces are of extraordinary delicacy. It was probably not until the 19th century that the most intricate pieces like the revolving balls and delicate chess pieces were carved.

 
    Gold and silver wears

       The technique of bronze-casting, highly developed by the Shang dynasty, inevitably influenced casting in the rarer metals. Seams indicate the use of ceramic piece-moulds rather than the “lost wax” method. The scarcity of gold and silver in China made casting an extravagant and consequently a relatively rare technique compared with the working of sheet metal which would be much thinner. In the Tang dynasty a cheaper alloy of silver and tin was cast and covered with a coating of better quality silver. Bronze Age cast decoration was enhanced by a granular effect, produced by relief beading. Granulation was later developed in other technique.

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    Furniture

        The forms of Chinese furniture evolved along three distinct lineages which date back to 1000 BC, based on Frame and panel, yoke and rack (based on post and rail seen in architecture) and bamboo construction techniques. Chinese home furniture evolved independently of Western furniture into many similar forms including chairs, tables, stools, cabinets, beds and sofas. Chinese furniture includes Chinese antique furniture and Chinese classic furniture, usually, the former is made in softwood and the latter is made in hardwood.

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    Buddhist sculpture

       The development of Chinese Buddhist art reflects periods of sinicization and Indian influence parallel to similar phase in the adoption of the religion itself. The earliest known Chinese Buddhist art is found in the decoration of mirrors of the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Buddhist deities represented show a strong similarity to their indigenous Taoist counter counterparts. Few bronze images are known to date before the 5th century, when images were still primitive and iconographic ally limited.

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  Chinese Silk

       cloth was woven in China in the Shang period, thousands of years before the secret was smuggled to the West in about the 6th century AD. Coarse, cheaper cloth was made from the hemp. Cotton and wool were both found in the Dunhuang caves dating from the Tang dynasty, but there is no literary evidence for them until later dynasties.
        The best silk is supposed to come from the Zhejiang. It is also produced in jiangsu and An hui. Silkworms require careful raising, avoiding noise and extremes of temperature. They eat daily many times their own weight in fresh mulberry leaves. In north China tussore silk is produced from various species of moth , which in the worm stage feed on oak leaves.

 
 
 
 
     
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