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Article

Amol  

Gordon Campbell

Article

Bizen  

Richard L. Wilson

Japanese centre of ceramics production. High-fired ceramic wares were manufactured from the end of the 12th century in and around the village of Inbe, Bizen Province (now Okayama Prefect.). This region had been a centre for manufacturing Sue-style stonewares and Haji-style earthenwares from the 6th century ad (see Japan, §IX, 2, (ii), (a)). At the end of the Heian period (794–1185) the potters moved from the old Sue-ware sites around Osafune village to Inbe, just to the north. In response to increased agricultural development, the new kilns manufactured kitchen mortars (suribachi), narrow-necked jars (tsubo) and wide-necked jars (kame). During the 13th century the wares show less of the grey-black surfaces typical of the old Sue tradition and more of the purple-reddish colour characteristic of Bizen. In the 14th century Bizen-ware production sites shifted from the higher slopes to the foot of the mountains. Kilns expanded in capacity, ranging up to 40 m in length. Vast quantities of Bizen wares, particularly kitchen mortars, were exported via the Inland Sea to Kyushu, Shikoku and numerous points in western Honshu, establishing Bizen as the pre-eminent ceramics centre in western Japan. By the 15th century the Bizen repertory had expanded to include agricultural wares in graded sizes; wares then featured combed decoration and such functional additions as lugs and pouring spouts. Plastic–forming was assisted by the introduction of a fusible clay found 2–4 m under paddy-fields. This clay, which fires to an almost metallic hardness, is still in use today....

Article

Chancay  

Jane Feltham

Pre-Columbian culture of South America. It centred on the Chancay Valley of the central Peruvian coast, ranging north and south to the Fortaleza and Lurín valleys, and is known for its distinctive pottery and textile styles. Chancay culture flourished between c. ad 1100 and 1470, under Chimú rulership in the 15th century. Vessels and textiles have been found at such sites as Cerro Trinidad, Lauri and Pisquillo, mostly in graves covered with stout timbers and a layer of earth.

Chancay vessels were made by coiling; modelled features sometimes occur, but elaborate jars were moulded. The fabric, fired to a light orange, is thin and porous. Some vessels are covered with a plain white slip, but most are also painted with brownish-black designs. Forms include bowls, goblets, tumblers, cylindrical jars and ovoid jars with rounded bases and narrow, bulging necks that sometimes end in a flaring rim. Vessel heights range from 60 mm for bowls to 750 mm for jars. Animals (especially birds and reptiles) and humans are frequently modelled on the upper shoulder or around a handle. More elaborate jars are zoomorphic or consist of two flasks connected by a bridge. Some show scenes, such as a dignitary being carried on a litter. Vertical black bands often divide design areas, within which are patterns of stripes, wavy lines, crosshatching, diamonds, triangles and dots, chequers, volutes and stylized birds or fishes, sometimes in assymetrical halves. Characteristic of the style are large, necked jars with faces (known as ...

Article

Echizen  

Richard L. Wilson

Centre of ceramics production in Japan, based on some 20 kiln sites 7 km north-west of the city of Takefu (Fukui Prefect.). Echizen is known as one of Japan’s ‘Six Old Kilns’. It is one of three centres that arose in the area (the others being Kaga and Suzu) in the 12th century in response to increased agricultural production. Ceramics appeared in Fukui Prefecture in the 6th century ad with the manufacture of Sue stoneware, fired in tunnel kilns (anagama; see Japan §IX 2., (ii), (a)). In the 12th century, however, increased agricultural production, coupled with the introduction of new technology, encouraged the development of a higher-fired brown stoneware. The use of a tunnel kiln with a dividing pillar, the manufacture of jars with everted rims and incised horizontal bands and the use of the coil-and-paddle technique in the early Echizen wares point to origins in kilns such as ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

[Chin.: ‘hidden’]

Term applied to Chinese porcelain where the decoration can only be seen under a clear glaze or through transmitted light. Such decoration is sometimes found in Song dynasty (960–1279) Ding and Xing wares, and becomes very common in the white porcelain of the Yongle period (1403–24) of the Ming dynasty. By the mid-16th century ...

Article

George Bankes

Pre-Columbian culture of South America that extended throughout several valleys on the south coast of Peru and flourished between c. ad 1000 and 1476. The Ica–Chincha pottery style was first recognized by the German archaeologist Max Uhle, and regional variations have since been defined by archaeologists from the University of California at Berkeley, especially by Dorothy Menzel. The Ica Valley appears to have been the main cultural centre, while the Chincha Valley seems to have had greater political significance. Commerce was important; pottery was clearly held in high esteem, since it has been found at sites on the central coast and inland in the Río Pampas area near Ayacucho, and it seems, moreover, to have formed the principal indicator of cultural cohesion and diversity between the valleys. The main feature of the decorated wares is a polychrome style, usually with a red base overpainted with white and black designs. Motifs are frequently geometric, with many designs taken from textiles, including diamonds, stepped lines and zigzag lines. There are also many depictions of birds and fish that are difficult to see in the maze of angular designs. A characteristic vessel shape is a jar with a rounded base, globular body, narrow neck and flaring rim. Dishes with a flanged rim are also common. As on ...

Article

Regina Krahl

[Ching-te-chen]

Town and county seat in north-east Jiangxi Province, China, and the country’s main centre of porcelain production. For most of its existence the town was part of Fouliang, in Raozhou Prefecture, and in historical records its ceramics are generally referred to as Raozhou ware. With a continuous history of manufacturing porcelain from the Tang period (ad 618–907), it is the source of most Chinese porcelain.

The imperial kilns were located at Zhushan in the centre of modern Jingdezhen city; many lesser kilns were situated in Hutian, 4 km to the south-east. The area is supplied with fine-quality porcelain stone, the basic raw material for Chinese porcelain; it is surrounded by forests that provided fuel for the kilns; and it is conveniently connected to the major ports of southern China by rivers. Recent excavations have brought to light several different kiln types, including egg-shaped zhenyao kilns, bread-roll-shaped mantou kilns and dragon kilns (...

Article

Jizhou  

Peter Hardie

[Chichow; Chi-chou; Ji’an; Chi-an]

Site in central Jiangxi Province, China, and former centre of ceramic production. Jizhou is the Sui- to Song-period (581–1279) name for modern Ji’an, a town on the Ganjiang River, which flows northwards into the Yangzi Basin. Ceramic kilns operated from at least the Tang period (ad 618–907) until the end of the Yuan (1279–1368) at the village of Yonghexu, about 8 km outside the town. The site is recorded in Wang Zuo’s 1462 edition of the Gegu yaolun (‘Essential criteria of antiquities’). Archibald Brankston visited it in 1937 and took sherds to England (London, BM), and from 1953 the local authorities have continued the investigation and excavation of the remains of some 20 kilns and other structures.

After some experimentation with whitewares and celadons in the Tang, the kilns’ range of activity was developed during the Song (960–1279), especially the Southern Song (...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

Type of enamelled (Pers. mīnā'ī) ware made in Iran in the late 12th century and early 13th; dated mina'i wares range from 1186 to 1224. This overglaze ware, unique to Iran, was probably first made at Kashan. It is a fritware consisting of bowls, jugs, beakers, ewers, vases and bottles covered first with a transparent colourless or opaque turquoise glaze and then fired. Colours such as turquoise and cobalt blue were applied prior to the first firing, whereas black, red, white and gold were painted on to the cold glaze and fixed in a second firing. The result was a group of polychrome pots decorated in a style closely allied to that of book illustration. Indeed, several pieces contain scenes from the Shāhnāma (‘Book of kings’), and one large bowl (Washington, DC, Freer) shows an actual battle that took place in the 1220s.

In addition to identifiable narrative scenes on bowls, tiles and a beaker (Washington, DC, Freer), five bowls are inscribed with the month Muharram and the years ...

Article

H. B. Nicholson

Stylistic and iconographic tradition in Mesoamerica during the Post-Classic period (c. 900–1521).

The term was coined in 1938 by the American archaeologist George Vaillant for what he variously defined as a ‘culture’, ‘civilization’ or ‘culture complex’ that developed after the Teotihuacán collapse in the region of the modern Mexican state of Puebla and the western portion of Oaxaca, an area known as the Mixteca (from the predominant indigenous language of the region). He hypothesized that Mixteca–Puebla diffused into the Basin of Mexico during what he termed the ‘Chichimec’ period, providing ‘the source and inspiration of Aztec civilization’. He believed that aspects of the complex spread widely throughout Mesoamerica during its final major era, the Post-Classic, which he suggested should be labelled the ‘Mixteca–Puebla period’.

Although Vaillant never defined his concept with precision, he clearly had in mind a distinctive artistic style and its concomitant iconography, particularly exemplified by the members of the ‘Codex Borgia group’ of ritual and divinatory screenfolds (...

Article

Sanage  

Richard L. Wilson

Centre of ceramics production in Japan. It flourished from the 5th to the 16th century. The large complex of kilns is clustered around Mt Sanage near Nagoya (Aichi Prefect.). Sanage wares are understood, through extensive archaeological research carried out from the mid-1950s, to have been the earliest glazed stonewares (kaiyūtō) to have been made in Japan. Probably due to its proximity to transportation routes and because of ample supplies of refractory clay, Sanage became established as a centre of Sue ware production in the late 5th century (see Japan §IX 2., (ii), (a)). In the mid-8th century, inspired by imported Chinese celadons, particularly Yue wares (see China, People’s Republic of §VIII 3., (iv), (b)), the Sanage potters began to move away from the Sue styles and techniques in favour of new continental models. More refractory, whiter-firing, levigated clays were employed, and the Sue style tunnel kiln (...

Article

Seto  

Richard L. Wilson

Centre of ceramics production in Japan, near Nagoya (Aichi Prefect.). The area occupies an important place in Japanese ceramic history, because, together with neighbouring Mino, it was the only ceramics centre to produce glazed ware before the Momoyama period (1568–1600). Its importance as a producer of utilitarian wares in the early modern period is reflected in the word setomono (‘things from Seto’), which is synonymous with ceramics in eastern Japan (see Japan §IX 3., (i), (c)).

Evidence from more than 500 kiln sites dating back to the Kamakura (1185–1333) and Muromachi (1333–1568) periods demonstrates that, under the influence of Sanage, a major kiln centre in the south-west, Seto began to show distinction as a ceramics centre in the 12th century. This development was made possible by the rise of eastern Japan as a political centre; newly empowered warrior élites, lacking the access to Chinese imports that the residents of older urban centres enjoyed, commissioned the Seto kilns to produce ash-glazed ceramics in the style of Song period (...

Article

Tanba  

Richard L. Wilson

Centre of Japanese ceramics production based in and around Tachikui and Kamaya villages (Hyōgo Prefect.). Together with Bizen, Shigaraki, Echizen, Seto and Tokoname, Tanba is one of the few Japanese kiln centres that has been active from the 12th century to the present day. The origins of Tanba ware are not perfectly understood, but recent excavations of the Sanbontōge kiln (late 12th century–early 13th), thought to be the earliest Tanba kiln, suggest that the Echizen (Fukui Prefect.) and possibly the Tokoname (Aichi Prefect.) kilns played a central role in the ware’s development. The principal wares, which reflect improvements in Japanese agricultural production in the 12th century, include a limited number of kitchen mortars (suribachi), and greater quantities of wide-mouthed jars (kame) and narrow-mouthed jars (tsubo). Ten kiln sites, spanning a period from the 12th to the 16th centuries, have been identified, and it is thought that these were single-chamber tunnel kilns (...

Article

Richard L. Wilson

Centre of ceramics production in western Chita (Aichi Prefect.), Japan. Tokoname, together with other important centres such as Bizen, Shigaraki, Seto, Tanba and Echizen, is famous for its continuous production to the present day (see Japan §IX 3., (ii)). The origins of the ware can be traced back to the 12th century, when increased agricultural development encouraged the spread of high-fired ceramics techniques from the central Sanage kiln complex, near the city of Nagoya, to neighbouring districts, including Higashiyama, Atsumi and Tokoname. Evidence for the Sanage lineage is seen in the Tokoname tunnel kilns (anagama; see Japan §IX 1., (v)) with a dividing pillar, variously placed at the fire-mouth or inside the kiln at the base of the slope. Unlike the Sanage potters, however, the Tokoname potters made larger vessels by coiling rather than with the potter’s wheel.

Before the 16th century, Tokoname kilns made three principal products: narrow-mouthed jars (...

Article

[Abū Zayd ibn Muḥammad ibn Abī Zayd]

(fl Kashan, 1186–1219).

Persian potter. At least 15 tiles and vessels signed by Abu Zayd are known, more signed works than are known for any other medieval Iranian potter (see fig.). He frequently added the phrase ‘in his own hand’ (bi-khāṭṭihi) after his name, so that it has been misread as Abu Zayd-i Bazi or Abu Rufaza. His earliest piece is an enamelled (Pers. mīnā’ī) bowl dated 4 Muharram 583 (26 March 1186; New York, Met.), but he is best known for his lustrewares. A fragment of a vase dated 1191 (ex-Bahrami priv. col., see Watson, pl. 53) is in the Miniature style, but most of his later pieces, such as a bowl dated 1202 (Tehran, priv. col., see Bahrami, pl. 16a) and a dish dated 1219 (The Hague, Gemeentemus.), are in the Kashan style, which he is credited with developing (see Islamic art, §V, 3(iii)...