Gt́m Hoa Lam Vij̣tnamVietnamese Blue and White Ceramics. Bui Minh Tri, Kerry Nguyen-Long.

Gt́m Hoa Lam Vij̣tnam
Vietnamese Blue and White Ceramics

Social Sciences Publishing House. 8.5 x 11.2", 520 pp., 250 color and 70 b/w plates and line drawings, 5 maps, text in Vietnamese and English, cloth, d.j., Hanoi, 2001. **Due to size and weight, the shipping cost for this title is $12.00(USA address) and $38.00 (non-USA address)
. Item #20109

It was only in the third decade of the last century when an inscription on a splendid blue and white bottle in the collection of the Topkapi Saray Museum was deciphered, that it was first known by the modern world that Vietnam had been one of the world's pioneers in the production of blue and white, and an exporter of it to international markets. In the sixth decade, chance finds of ceramics in Indonesia and the Philippines led to further discover of Vietnam's export ceramics. And the last decade of the century, maritime excavations, particularly at the Pandanan and Cham Island sites, recovered further impressive quantities of Vietnamese blue and white ceramics. But, the question of exactly where and when these ceramics were made has not been satisfactorily answered. The answer to both these questions can be found in this volume. This is the first book ever devoted exclusively to this subject, and the first based on the archaeological excavations and the numerous surveys carried out over the last two decades at production centers, habitation sites, and royal capitals inside Vietnam. This book includes the latest archaeological findings. As a result of the work carried out by Vietnamese archaeologists it is now possible to pinpoint four different locations that were once involved in the production of blue and white ceramics in Vietnam.

The book presents a comprehensive history of Vietnam's blue and white ceramic production by Bui Minh Tri, and explains Vietnamese concepts of blue and white ceramics. The historical context of the different sites is established in the text and identified on maps, together with description of types of wares produced in each site. The basic features that distinguish blue and white in each of the dynastic periods are also dealt with.

In the second part of this book Kerry Nguyen-Long provides a comprehensive record of those blue and white ceramics found in the land and maritime sites outside Vietnam, and places them in an historical and cultural context. The old and new evidence from export sites can now be viewed alongside the new evidence from archaeological excavations in Vietnam.

The bilingual text is accompanied by three important appendices. The first of these features a abundance of previously unpublished photographic material of whole pieces, wasters, shards, and kiln tools from excavation sites that bring concrete evidence to answer the question of origin and of dating. These date from the Tran to the Late Le dyansties. The second appendix consists of seventy pages of precise drawings, systematically organized showing the decorative designs on blue and white from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. The third appendix features photographs of blue and white ceramics from numerous museums and private collections in Vietnam, and from around the world. A significant number of these are published for the first time.

This book is valuable to academic institutions, schools of fine arts as well as for anyone interested in the cultural and artistic history of Vietnam. It is also an important text for those with an interest in Southeast Asian ceramics, or with an interest in the early beginnings of blue and white decorated ceramics.

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