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The City of Blue and White

Chinese Porcelain and the Early Modern World

Anne Gerritsen (University of Warwick)



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Cambridge University Press
07 May 2020
We think of blue and white porcelain as the ultimate global commodity: throughout East and Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean including the African coasts, the Americas and Europe, consumers desired Chinese porcelains. Many of these were made in the kilns in and surrounding Jingdezhen. Found in almost every part of the world, Jingdezhen's porcelains had a far-reaching impact on global consumption, which in turn shaped the local manufacturing processes. The imperial kilns of Jingdezhen produced ceramics for the court, while nearby private kilns manufactured for the global market. In this beautifully illustrated study, Anne Gerritsen asks how this kiln complex could manufacture such quality, quantity and variety. She explores how objects tell the story of the past, connecting texts with objects, objects with natural resources, and skilled hands with the shapes and designs they produced. Through the manufacture and consumption of Jingdezhen's porcelains, she argues, China participated in the early modern world.
By:   Anne Gerritsen (University of Warwick)
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 254mm,  Width: 179mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   900g
ISBN:   9781108499958
ISBN 10:   1108499953
Pages:   354
Publication Date:   07 May 2020
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Anne Gerritsen is Professor of History and directs the Global History and Culture Centre at the University of Warwick. Since 2013, she has also held the Chair of Asian Art at the Universiteit Leiden where she teaches at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) and the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS).

Reviews for The City of Blue and White: Chinese Porcelain and the Early Modern World

'This is a necessary and a valuable book, as well as being readable and engaging throughout. It deserves a wider readership in its illustration of the more general point that 'global history can only be written by taking the local seriously'.' Craig Clunas, University of Oxford 'The City of Blue and White is an authoritative, comprehensive, and riveting account of the natural and human ecologies of porcelain-making in Jingdezhen from the eleventh to the eighteenth centuries. If a cultural historian, a craft hobbyist, a curious student, or a historian of technology asks me to recommend one book on Chinese ceramics, this would be the one.' Dorothy Ko, Author of Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China 'A masterwork of accessible, interdisciplinary scholarship that tells the fascinating story of the world's great porcelain - producing centre, Jingdezhen. The extensive, complex history of this city and its primary product is told here from a new, global and local perspective which illuminates the multiple reasons for the rise, dominance and subsequent decline of this manufacturing powerhouse.' Stacey Pierson, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

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