Over the course of our 36 years, RCB has auctioned a wide range of Chinese and Thai ceramics. They are made from
porcelain, stone, and earthenware dating from the 12th to the 20th centuries. We receive consignments of
ceramics across the ancient Khmer and Burma epoch. This includes ceramics of differing shapes, designs, styles, glazes, and
techniques. RCB Auctions specialists have unmatched experience in Thai ceramics and Sino-Thai porcelain. For that
reason, we are entrusted by collectors and historical estates to bring Sino-Thai porcelain to the market. Examples
of ceramics include Chinese blue and white, polychrome, Yixing teapot, Benjarong, Lai Nam Thong, and more.
Blue & White Porcelain
Perhaps the most famous ceramic exported from China is blue and white porcelain. It is believed to have roots in Persia in the 9th century. The porcelain is under glazed with hand-painted designs in blue pigment on a white clay body, then fired in a kiln. By the Ming and Qing dynasties, Chinese artists had perfected the technique, and decorative motifs became distinctly Chinese. Notably Buddhist, Taoist, dragons, peonies, floral scrolls, Chinese characters, and scenes from Chinese epics. Mass exports from China’s porcelain capital, Jingdezhen reached their height in the global market in the 15th and 16th centuries. This made blue and white porcelain highly prized worldwide. Chinese blue and white exports to the west and east feature traditional Chinese motifs but also different styles of art.
Benjarong ‘Five Colours’
Antique Sino-Thai porcelain, known as Benjarong were predominantly produced in the 18th and 19th centuries. This was the late Rattanakosin period (the fourth and present kingdom in the history of Thailand, founded in 1782 with the establishment of Rattanakosin as the capital city, replacing the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom). The Benjarong is enameled with multiple colours usually identifiable by the religious motifs and geometric patterns of the Thai art style. It is produced in various utensils such as kitchenware, jars, and spittoon. The influences of Benjarong originated from China during the late Ming dynasty. Later during the Qing dynasty, it was exported to Thailand for the aristocracy, designed to the specification of Thai traditional shapes and designs of the Rattanakosin period.
Lai Nam Thong is a type of Thai Benjarong. The difference in characteristics is that the Lai Nam Thong items are enameled with gold. Gold enamel was likely developed later and required a more labor-intensive process from the Benjarong. Gold enamel would be added after the initial firing, so the Lai Nam Thong required more firing than the Benjarong.
Sangkhalok ceramic was produced during the Sukhothai period (1238 until 1438 in north central Thailand) from kilns in Si Satchanalai district. Made from clay and stone, the ceramics come in many designs, forms, and glazes. Much of the ware reflects Chinese influences such as shapes and glaze techniques. However, there is an apparent kinship with earlier ancient Thai ceramics dating back to the 13th century. Sangkhalok glazes include celadon glazes, monochrome, underglazes, and unglazed ware; from products such as pots, jars, vases, plates, bowls, and figurines.
Pottery is heavier and less refined than porcelain. If Jingdezhen is the ‘porcelain capital,’ then Yixing, situated in Jiangsu Province, is the ‘pottery capital’ of the world. Yixing produces many types of pottery and Yixing clay can be found in many different colours. But the most sought after pottery is purple sand clay teapots. Yixing teapots are moulded in different shapes, the best are usually stamped with the mark of the artist or person commissioning the pottery.