"The study of Chinese porcelain has always been a difficult one in Europe, chiefly on account of the customary use of commemorative marks. With the growing western familiarity with Chinese script it seemed possible about 1900 to start the business of classification seriously. This was in the west chiefly a study of the apparently capricious forging of export porcelains which commonly bore not the reign-names but the names of earlier famous Emperors in whose reigns they might have been made but in fact were not. This fact was not appreciated by the western purchaser and eventually a wave of optimism began to rise and wares with Ming marks began to be accepted as of the Dynasty or reign. But so great a quantity of Chinese porcelain was being imported, most of it still bearing a Ming reign-mark, that it has taken nearly a century to discredit its marking. What was 'Ming' is still Ming; the name has become a 'household word' for old Chinese porcelain in general. Lastly came the present phase of reaction when it has become a fashionable pursuit to 'spot' the Ming pieces in cabinets mainly devoted to the wares of K'ang Hsi (1662 . 1722). For it was obvious that much Ming porcelain must exist in western collections and it has been Mr. Jenyns's task to help us to recognise it. With his wide knowledge of literary and classical Chinese, his familiarity with the old Chinese books on porcelain, as well as his gifts as poet-translator, he is well equipped to distinguish the true Ming wares." foreword by W.B.H.
Published by Faber and Faber Limited, London, 1953 | Hardcover
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