The Mumingtang Ancient Porcelain Museum, at 1 Huashi Beili, Chongwen District, is a private museum that houses a collection of over 50,000 pieces of ancient porcelain.
At present, over 1,200 exhibits are on display inside the exhibition area.
A "Blue and White Porcelain Exhibition Counter" has been set up specifically to display this style of porcelain, dating from the Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644), and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. With their diverse patterns and shades of blue, the 150 or so Yuan Dynasty pieces within the museum collection embody the classic characteristics of this style of porcelain, and the 200 or more Ming Dynasty exhibits include those fired in official kilns during the Yongle (1403-1425) and Xuande (1426-1436) periods. These are of inestimable value.
Among the numerous pieces of ancient porcelain, the most treasured are those fired in the Ru kiln. One of the five famous kilns in China, the Ru kiln was used for just 20 years of China's long porcelain producing history. It was in the late Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) that this technology first evolved in China. Porcelain fired in the Ru kiln was mainly used for tributes. There are currently altogether 60 pieces extant and in good condition in the world, mainly distributed throughout Taiwan, UK, Japan and USA, earning Ru kiln porcelain a high reputation. With the aim of collecting Ru kiln porcelain, the Beijing Mumingtang Ancient Porcelain Museum has gathered over 10,000 pieces (including fragments). They are on show in a special room, and make a dazzling display.
The "Touching History" section of the museum encompasses three themes. The first is representative porcelain of the Tang (618-907), Song (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming, and Qing dynasties, in chronological order. The second is Qing Dynasty Tangfu style -- the name of a private residence or study depicted on the porcelain, produced during the reign of Emperor Kangxi. The third is Qing Dynasty Hua style, wherein scripts, signatures, and symbols are expressed in patterns, also produced during the reign of Emperor Kangxi. Joining together fragments of ancient porcelain gives one a retrospect of history, as well as a better understanding of the material itself.
In order to serve its visitors more fully, the museum has opened a Net Room, a Reading Room, and a Tea Bar, in the hope of providing the means to a deeper understanding of Chinese civilization.
Address: 1/F, Beijing Municipal Real Estate Trading Center, 1 East Section, Huashi Beili, Chongwen District (Bus nos. 723, 610 to Baiqiao; or nos. 44, 43, 800 to Dongbianmen.)
Open: 10:00 -- 20:00
Admission: 10 yuan
On Tuesdays and Fridays, visitors are welcome to consult the curator directly, and on Sundays experts are available to answer questions and give information on cultural relics.
Tel: 8610-67187266, 8610-67186939
(China.org.cn May 1, 2005)