Long ago, Chinese emperors and aristocrats drank tea from tiny jade cups. But they were incredibly expensive even for them, so the potters created a material equivalent to jade - porcelain, which is also called white gold. Europeans first met it in the 17th century, for whom it was often sold for its weight in gold, which eventually led to the emergence of a cheap imitation. The original products can be easily distinguished by their ideal shape, heat resistance, transparency and skillful painting.
5. Joseon porcelain: $ 1.2 million
Joseon porcelain is a type of white porcelain produced in Korea during the Joseon Dynasty, which ruled from 1392 to 1910. Over these five centuries, porcelain production has undergone numerous changes. More popular than other types of ceramics, Joseon porcelain also won love in China, especially among the representatives of the Ming dynasty. A rare Joseon porcelain vase was sold at Christie's in New York for $ 1.2 million. It dates back to the 18th century. Product height 55 centimeters.
4. Blood Red Porcelain: $ 9.5 million
In Chinese culture, red symbolizes joy, pleasure, happiness. Unsurprisingly, red porcelain was so popular despite its high price tag. The production of red porcelain required expensive materials, and the process itself was complex and costly. The skills and techniques for making blood red porcelain were lost during the Qing Dynasty. Potters have empirically established that under certain temperature conditions, some types of porcelain acquire an amazing color. Prior to this, red porcelain was obtained using a red copper glaze. A red porcelain bowl decorated with lotus flowers was filed for $ 9.5 million at Sotheby's.
3. Jihong porcelain: $ 10 million
Underglaze red porcelain was especially popular during the reign of the Ming dynasty, thanks to it, another type of red porcelain, brighter, fiery, appeared. Jihong porcelain was originally used for religious ceremonies. Ji translates to sacrifice and hong means red. Products made from this porcelain were often decorated with jade, pearls, corals, agate and gold. Since the Ming Empire, the secrets of Jihong porcelain production have been lost. Many have tried to reproduce it, but to no avail. The Jingdezhen Ceramic Museum has only ten red porcelain items, and there are no more than a hundred in the world. A rare Ming Dynasty Jihong porcelain vase at Christie's in 2006 sold for $ 10 million.
2. White and blue porcelain: $ 21.6 million
Cobalt-colored porcelain appeared in the 9th century in the Chinese province of Henan, but it was not yet as beautiful and transparent as the blue-white porcelain that appeared in the Jingdezheng province, which became the porcelain capital. Blue and white porcelain reached its maximum popularity during the reign of one of the emperors of the Qing dynasty in 1661-1722. Cobalt oxide was used to make porcelain, but it was incredibly expensive, almost twice as expensive as gold. In Europe, the so-called French porcelain was used for its production, a type of artificial porcelain made from glass melted with clay. An amazing blue and white porcelain vase was sold at Sotheby's in Hong Kong for $ 21.6 million.
1. Qing Dynasty porcelain: $ 84 million
The finest porcelains are made from original oriental porcelain made from two ingredients - Chinese clay and Chinese stone. The result is an unusually strong, transparent white material. If the product breaks, the chip looks shiny and damp. Soft porcelain is an attempt by Europeans to imitate authentic hard Chinese porcelain. But it turned out to be of lower quality, less durable, and the chip looks rough. While Europeans tried to make progress in porcelain production, the Qing dynasty defeated the Ming dynasty in China. It was a period of peace and economic prosperity, which also influenced art. During their reign, Chinese porcelain became more colorful. The ideal shape, wide range of colors and skillful decoration techniques are characteristic of that era. An 18th century Qing Dynasty vase was sold for $ 84 million to a wealthy Chinese industrialist.