The Song Dynasty in China | Asia for Educators

China in 1000 CE

The Most Advanced Society in the World

The Song Economic Revolution



In English, “china” has become synonymous with dinnerware. Already in Song times China was a ceramics-exporting country.

Song kilns produced many kinds of cups, bowls, and plates, as well as boxes, ink slabs, and pillows (headrests). Techniques of decoration ranged from painting and carving to stamping and molding. Some kilns could produce as many as 20,000 objects a day for sale at home and abroad. Shards of Song porcelain have been found all over Asia (see Outside World: International Trade).

Examples of Song ceramics from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the British Museum.
Click on the image to get a full description of the object from the museum website.

More about Song Dynasty Ceramics

Guide to Chinese Ceramics: Sung (Song) Dynasty [Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
An excellent guide, with many examples of different types of ceramic ware produced during the Song dynasty, including many of the wares shown above — ding (ting), qingbai (ch’ing-pai), longquan (lung-ch’uan), jun (chun), guan (kuan), and cizhou (tz’u-chou).

Making a Cizhou Vessel [Princeton University Art Museum]
A fun interactive website that takes the user through seven steps of creating a Cizhou vessel like the ones produced in Northern China during the Song and Yuan dynasties.

The Legend of Ju Ware: A Special Exhibition of Ju Ware from the Northern Sung Dynasty [National Palace Museum]
A multimedia website about Ju ware, produced in the later Northern Sung dynasty (12th century). Three topics — Qualities, Connoisseurs, Origin — plus an Explore section and a Dictionary (Resources) section.

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