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White Porcelain Tea Cup
Dehua, Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China
White Porcelain (白瓷)
2.2” W x 2.1” H (5.7cm x 5.4cm)
With ivory white porcelain and crystal clear in character, this tea cup can fully present the color of tea liquid.
This cup is made of white porcelain of a type called “lard white” or “ivory white”. It is simple in design with no extra decoration, leaving the cup in its pure white, translucent texture. The shape is based on that of an aroma cup, tall and thin to help preserve the fragrance of the tea. The color and lack of decoration on this cup helps to preserve the original color of the tea liquid, too.
“Ivory white” is the name of a certain type of porcelain glaze, called as such, obviously, for its color and ivory-like texture. The glaze contains titanium oxides in it, lending it a faint yellowish tint as well as its bright, shiny appearance. In sunlight the glaze can also show some milky pink tints, which gives it its alternate name of “lard white”. In Europe this glaze is also known as “velvet white” or, simply, “Chinese white”.
Located in Fujian province, Dehua County enjoys a great reputation for its ceramic and porcelain crafts. White porcelain from Dehua has a bright, pure white color with great light transmission. The ivory white (象牙白) and Chinese white (中国白) have been well known both at home and abroad from as far back as the Ming and Qing dynasty. He Zongchao, Lin Chaojing, and Zhang Shoushan, among others, were the most famous ceramic artists from Dehuan during the Ming dynasty.