Collectable Handicraft - Jianzhan Art

Jian ware’s charming glazing patterns and colours keep surprising the artisans and collectors. The crafting technique was lost for some 700 years with the tea-drinking habit and dynasty changes. There was no production in the missing centries, which makes antique Jianzhan’s collectable value very high with no doubt. This lost craft technique was retrieved in the 1980s, and the restoration progress drew much attention from ceramic art lovers all around the globe. The enthusiasm and efforts that modern artisans devote to Jianzhan crafting have re-introduced Jianzhan back to the ceramic and porcelain art industry and re-built the popularity for Jianzhan, not only in China but also to the world. (Read more about Jianzhan.)

Contemporary Jian Ware Art

Nowadays, exquisite Jianzhan arts crafted by contemporary artisans are also valuable. The clay and glazing material must be sourced naturally in Jianyang’s local area, where the clay contains high iron content from 7% to 10%. Another determinant of Jianzhan’s high value is the low rate of quality finish products. For electric kilns, approximately 30%-40% of the products meet the quality for selling; the rate gets lower with gas kilns production. The successful rate can be as low as 10%-15% for woodfire kiln production. With these features, premium Jianzhan or Jian ware pieces also have collectable value and are loved by tea lovers, ceramic collectors and galleries around the globe. 

Yaobian by Lu Jinxi

Yaobian glazing pattern is known as the most challenging glaze to make among all Jian ware patterns. No one has yet to achieve the exact same result as antique Jian wares. Mr Lu Jinxi’s Yaobian Jianzhan is by far the closest woodfired Yaobian pattern known in the industry. One of his Yaobian Jianzhan was auctioned to about 200,000 US dollars in 2016. 

Lu Jinxi Yaobian Jianzhan
Lu Jinxi Yaobian Jianzhan Art
Image source:

Hare's fur in Mountain Scene by Li Ximei

In 2017, this premium piece of Jian ware was sold at about 4.3 million US dollars at an auction in Fujian, China. It set the highest transaction value for contemporary Jian ware artwork. Using the traditional hare’s fur glazing pattern and Li Ximei’s innovative techniques, this piece of Jian ware presents a unique mountain scene that looks like a traditional Chinese landscape painting. 

Li Ximei Jianzhan Art
Li Ximei Jianzhan Art Auction
Image source:

Golden Oil Spot by Huang Meijin

Over nearly ten years of study and experiments, Mr Huang Meijin finally fired golden oil spot Jianzhan successfully. Until today, he is the only artisan who can achieve such a glazing pattern with natural glazing material. Many museums and art galleries collect his works, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the British Museum, The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, The Palace Museum, Beijing, and the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

Huang Meijin Golden Oil Spot Jianzhan Art
Golden Oil Spot Jianzhan Art by Huang Meijin
Image source:

Antique Jian Ware in Recent Auctions

A Jian Tea Bowl (Song Dynasty), auctioned at Christie’s in New York, price realised at 15,000 US dollars.

Antique Jian Ware Auction

Image source:

Similar style available with us: Wild Berry 

Jianzhan teacup - Wild Berry

A Superb Jian Hare’s Fur Tea Bowl (Song Dynasty), auctioned at Christie’s in Tokyo, price realised at 93,750 US dollars.

Antique Jian Ware Hare's fur Auction
Image source:

Similar style available with us: Dark Fur

A Jian Black-dotted Gray-glazed Bowl (Southern Song Dynasty), auctioned at Sotheby’s in Tokyo, price realised at USD 27,720.

Antique Jian Ware Black-dotted Gray-glazed Auction
Image source:

Similar style available with us: The Mustard

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published