Treasures of Chinese Porcelain is an Arts programme.


Treasures of Chinese Porcelain

In November 2010, a Chinese vase unearthed in a suburban semi in Pinner sold at auction for £43 million - but why are they so famous and so expensive? Ceramics specialist Lars Tharp sets out to explore why, taking a journey to parts of China closed to western eyes until relatively recently. Lars travels to Mount Gaolin, from whose name we get the word kaolin, to see how the china clay was fused with another substance, mica, that would turn it into porcelain. Carrying his own newly acquired vase, Lars uncovers the secrets of China's porcelain capital, Jingdezhen, and sees how the trade between China and Europe not only changed our idea of what was beautiful but also began to affect the whole tradition of Chinese aesthetics too. Lars also looks at how the new emperors - China's rising millionaire class - are buying back the export wares once shipped to Europe. The vase sold in Pinner shows that the lure of Chinese porcelain is as compelling as ever.

Genre: Arts

Running Time: 60 minutes (approx)

When is Treasures of Chinese Porcelain next on TV?

It's next showing on BBC 4 Tomorrow, 1:30am. See more...