Chinese museum to showcase celadons from Iran, other countries

July 14, 2019

TEHRAN – On Saturday, a collection of centuries-old celadons, on loan from the National Museum of Iran, reached Beijing’s Palace Museum, which is to host a vast exhibit of such potteries from several countries.

The Iranian collection comprises 14 celadon containers that belong to a larger cluster, which dates from Safavid era (1501–1736), CHTN reported on Sunday.

The celadons were once endowed to the Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble, by Safavid King, Shah Abbas the Great. However, they found their way to the National Museum of Iran in the Persian calendar year 1314 (1925-26), the report added.  The ensemble is named after Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardabili (1253-1334), who was a Sufi philosopher and leader of Islamic mystic practices.

Celadon is greenish ceramic glaze that is used on stoneware. It is particularly valued in China, Korea, Thailand, and Japan.

Titled “Longquan of the World: Longquan Celadon and Globalization”, the exhibition will also showcase objects on loan from Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Japan, Syria, Egypt, the United Kingdom, and other countries and regions.

Organized jointly by the Palace Museum, Zhejiang Provincial Museum, and the People’s Government of the municipality of Lishui, the first stage of the exhibit will be held in Beijing at the Forbidden City from July 15 to October 20; the second stage will be held at the Zhejiang Provincial Museum from November 15 through February 16, 2020.

With approximately 830 collection pieces on show, the galleries feature 507 works from the Palace Museum with 205 pieces from eighteen provincial or municipal museums and archaeological institutes in Zhejiang Province. Another 120 or so pieces are from eleven museums or archaeological institutes in various countries or administration regions, including thirty-five works created in imitation of Longquan celadon during different historical periods.

According to organizers, archaeologists unearthed Longquan celadon from the Song (960–1279), Yuan (1279–1368), and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties throughout China. Quantities of celadon have also been discovered at digs and shipwrecks along the historic land and maritime trade-routes in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, India, Egypt, Kenya, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, and other countries and regions.

From the twelfth century to the current age, celadon has been enjoyed by people throughout China and around the world in palace courts and common residences.

“Longquan of the World: Longquan Celadon and Globalization” presents the spread of Longquan celadon along the land and maritime routes of the historic Silk Road and allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the origin of the One Belt, One Road initiative and the future of international trade and development.

Currently, another loan collection from the National Museum of Iran is on show at a Beijing exhibit that opened its doors to the public on July 13 at the National Art Museum of China, under the name “The Asian Civilization Exhibition”. The Iranian objects include clay works, Achaemenid inscriptions, Sassanid sculptures and glassworks which represent the [long-lasting] relationship between Iran and China.

AFM/MG

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