Ming Dynasty Vases

Ming Dynasty Vases

Our featured image is courtesy of attackedastorianails.blogspot.com.



Just as the Tang Dynasty (618 – 906) was the “golden age” of Chinese literature (poetry), the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) was the “golden age” in China for the production of extremely beautiful ceramic works of art.  These vases and plates and cups are easily recognized for the cobalt blue dye used in their manufacture.

For history students, the Ming Dynasty was the homegrown Chinese dynasty that supplanted the foreign Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty (1279 – 1368).  An interesting item of note is that the Black Death (pandemic of bubonic plague) – which ravaged Europe between 1346 and 1351 – did take its toll on Yuan China and on the ruling Mongol house itself in the 1330s.  It was not the principal reason for the demise of the Mongols in China, but could have been a contributing factor.  (There has been some speculation in recent decades that the main vector of the bacillus to humans was infected lice and not fleas from mice.)

We had to double check our memory of reading on this some years ago by visiting this (linked) online article:


And, there is even a somewhat revisionist view of the Mongols in this book:  Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, by Jack Weatherford, 2004.

The thesis is that the Mongols, by uniting so much of Asia (by conquest), greatly facilitated a major increase in trade and commerce and cultural exchanges that hastened the end of the Middle Ages, and helped launch the European “Age of Discovery”. 

Please forgive us!  We have gotten off topic, and need to get back to the Ming Dynasty vases.

This pictorial essay is for our friends in Asia.  (Lucy has not forgotten her early childhood in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and still has fond memories of it.  But, China is not the only Asian country to make contributions of cultural significance.  We do not forget nor overlook India, Japan, and Thailand, and other nations.)

As you view the images, you will notice that at times the designs are fairly simple, and at other times very elaborate.  But, these pieces are always beautiful and memorable.  We have tried to provide a good sample set of images for this topic.  There are even some fashion statements at the bottom of the essay.


This photo (below) is courtesy of seco.glendale.edu.


A dragon vase is courtesy of draconian.com.


A simple vase is from worcesterart.org.


Antiquevase is courtesy of propertycasualty360.com.  Note the detail on the vase and that such valuable art objects can be insured.


A photo of  Ming Dynasty chests is from chinainfoonline.com.


A cloisonné vase is from ilookchina.net.


This photo of a  dark blue vase is from numismondo.com.


This vase on its side is courtesy of vasoni.net.


This photo of tall vases is from prweb.com.


This colorful vase is from instappraisal.com.


This photo of a pair of blue vases is from instappraisal.com.


This pic of a pair of vases that tell a story are courtesy of superstock.com.


Putting it together (pieces of Ming dynasty vases recovered from a ship wreck) is courtesy of nationalgeographicstock.com.


A Ming Dynasty lidded jar is by kind courtesy of michaelhampton.blogspot.com.


The next 2 photos (of dresses being modelled) are courtesy of etsy.com Ming Dynasty art has inspired these modern fashion statements.  These 2 dresses have designs that are simple in concept, yet are elaborate and detailed in finished look.

The final product catches your eye and is pleasing.

Here is the second pic.


These final 2 photos, of current finger nail art, are by kind courtesy of attackedastorianails.blogspot.com.  We wonder if the Ming artisans of several centuries ago ever imagined that their motifs would be used in this way in future times.

And, here again, as the second of two finger nail art pics, is our featured image.  Wow!  What a fashion statement.



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