Selected fine and exquisite porcelain pieces from the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911 A.D.) have been put on show for the first time in the Tibetan Museum, giving a glimpse into the cultural exchanges between Han people and Tibetans.
The 104 showpieces hand-picked from the 2,000-plus porcelain pieces stored in the museum were mainly largesse bestowed by the then emperors to nobles and temples in Tibet.
Although they were made in royal kilns in the interior of China, a striking resemblance can be found with traditional Tibetan porcelain, especially in the exterior shape and decoration.
According to historical records, all royal kilns during the Ming and Qing dynasties had been ordered to manufacture porcelain with typical vivid Tibetan characteristics. Moreover, symbols of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan mascots such as jade-like stones as well as the Tibetan languages were often used in porcelain making for the Han people in that historical period.
As the then transportation between Tibet and the interior of China depended on mules and yaks, also on show is a huge fur bag which was a special package used to protect and carry fragile porcelain ware.
(People's Daily July 3, 2003)