Blanc de Chine: The Majestic White Charm of Ancient Chinese Artistry

The intricate art of porcelain made at De Hua City, situated on the southeastern coast in the Fujian Province of China and rich with its white clay resources, known as 德化陶瓷 (Déhuà Táocí), carries a fascinating designation rooted in its alphabetic form as the ‘White from China’ or traditionally dubbed in the Western world as “Blanc de Chine”. This term was coined to represent the delicately coated white porcelain, renowned for its finesse and originating from the depths of Chinese craftsmanship.

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Though the production of white-glazed ceramics began in China as early as the Song dynasty (960 - 1279), it was during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) that exceptional quality white-glazed ceramics earned the esteemed title of “Blanc de Chine”. Subsequently, French connoisseurs introduced this special white-glazed porcelain to the European market during the 18th and 19th centuries, sparking a craze in society and serving as a profound inspiration for European artisans to develop their own versions of white glaze ceramics. These adaptations, crafted from mixed mineral elements and fired at extremely high temperatures, drew from the original Chinese prototypes imported into Europe.

Another type of Blanc de Chine porcelain that often garners popularity in sculpting is religious-themed carved figures, a significant category within De Hua’s ceramic products. Among the deities most favored for carving motifs, Guanyin, the goddess of compassion and mercy, revered as both the compassionate mother and the wise sage, stands out prominently. She is widely worshiped as the Bodhisattva in Chinese culture, thus making Guanyin sculptures carved from Blanc de Chine porcelain highly esteemed and prominently displayed in De Hua.

In the present day, De Hua City continues to flourish as a renowned hub for porcelain craftsmanship, boasting success in both industrial innovation and artistic ingenuity. In this Timed Auction hosted by RCB Auctions, a rare and exquisitely crafted Blanc de Chine porcelain sculpture of Guanyin, the revered Bodhisattva, is up for bidding. Sculpted from the scarce Blanc de Chine clay, this masterpiece radiates intricate delicacy, sublime detail, and a serene beauty imbued with the devout reverence and ancient Chinese artistic charm for all to admire.


Lot 245
A Blanc de Chine figure of Bodhisattva Guanyin (1 pc.)
Style: Chinese
Dimensions: W 19.5 cm H 41 cm
Circa: Late 20th Century
Estimated Price: 20,000 - 30,000 THB
Starting Price: 10,000 THB