From Object to Concept

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-05-02
  • Publisher: Hong Kong Univ Pr

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Ming porcelain is widely recognized as one of the world's finest cultural treasures. An ordinary household material refined for imperial use, porcelain became a dynamic force in China's domestic economy and a valuable commodity in export trade. In the modern era, Ming porcelain has fetched unprecedented sums at art auctions and other sites of global commerce. This book examines the impact of porcelain's consumption on Chinese development and its evolution into a foreign cultural icon. The study begins with an examination of porcelain's appreciation in Ming China from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, followed by a discussion of global encounters with Ming porcelain in several world regions, including Europe and the Americas. The volume also revisits the creation of the phrase "the Ming vase" and its conceptual impact on English-speaking cultures, concluding with the gradual integration of Ming porcelain into western works of art.

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