Soft-paste porcelain with incised decoration under ivory glaze (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm)
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 200
In the eighteenth century, the kilns at Jingdezhen began using another material for the production of porcelains. Known as huashi, or “slippery stone,” this expensive material, often called “soft paste,” was used to make thin vessels that were frequently decorated with incised or raised designs. It remains unclear why this new material was introduced. It is worth noting, however, that it is easily carved and provides a parallel to the interest in the manipulation of surfaces found in other media, such as ivory and bamboo, at the time.