I was especially interested in those of Chinese and Indian origin, because they have such ancient connections and made a strong impact on western history. In the Asian section are many examples of beautiful…
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The blue dragon is pictured moving in up and down waves like a fancy kite dragon I once saw flying in the air. It is a good luck sign in most Asian countries and is a very happy creature as compared with western dragons. It is in the classic ginger Jar shape. This kind of porcelain was really popular and expensive, since the cobalt blue dye had to be imported from India through China, so it was only used for dragons. These made their way west on the Silk Road, along with the rare and coveted silk to western European courts all the way to Great Britain even during the most isolationist times. The motif and some of the shape and technique was copied in the UK, as I have seen these before outside of the museum, even in boot sales. (Dragon Jar 2009) Things like this, spices and silk made the trade with the east very profitable, and controlling the Mediterranean was the key to domination. Mostly the trade was dominated by the Mughal Empire, China or the Portuguese.
The next artifact I noticed in this collection was another lovely round teapot with a bird on it. Since it also originated in Korea during the same time period, I have to assume the bird is the Phoenix, the alter-ego of the Dragon even though it is very small, because the painting is done with Cobalt Blue. The teapot is in lovely condition and sports a ropy handle and a lid. It could also have been used to serve wine. Clear bottles were likely very rare in Asia as they were using more porcelain and clay, so this would not have been an unusual way to use a teapot.
In the Chinese artifacts there were many beautiful dishes in porcelain from China, even one with the same kind of dragon on it, also pictured moving like a flying snake with six legs. This plate was very colorful in red, blue and green. It was even decorated on the underside, and must have been some household head’s prized
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