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Eggshell Porcelain

Eggshell porcelain, also called "buotai bodiless ware", is very light, thin and pure white, characterized by an excessively thin body under the glaze. It often had decoration engraved on it before firing that, like a watermark in paper, was visible only when held to the light. Its colored pattern can be clearly seen from its inside. This unique porcelain embodies Jingdezhen porcelain characteristics in terms of "as white as jade, as bright as mirror, as thin as paper, as resonant as chime". There are great skills behind its preparation. Especially much attention should be paid to its trimming process. The Northern Song Dynasty said: "A fraid that the wind will blow it away, or that the sun will melt it"

Eggshell porcelain was introduced in the Ming dynasty during the reign of the emperor Yongle (1402–24). It reappeared in the reign of the emperor Chenghua (1464–87), and later Yongle wares were copied under the emperor Wanli (1572–1620). The paper-thin porcelain again occurred during the Qing dynasty (1644–1911/12), especially in the reign of the emperor Kangxi (1661–1722), in famille verte and famille rose porcelain, chiefly in bowls, plates, cups, and saucers. The manufacture of this porcelain is very complex and time-consuming.

Eggshell porcelain types are many, which are widely applied on the wares of eggshell bowls, cups, dishes, vases and lamps etc. Some are as small as a bird's egg, The largest eggshell bowl can reach more than 100cm in its diameter. In the light, this bright and jade-like porcelain is compared to a rare treasure under the heaven.