Ming Red

15.02.2013 § 2 Comments

Ming redI bought this antique lacquer in a small antique store for china and lacquer ware in Kyoto. The store was so small, the aisles so narrow that I felt like I was knocking things off the shelf with every turn or movement. Especially with bulky coats, etc. Anyway, this lacquer ware caught my eye. The color has such elegance and depth that a plastic imitation cannot reproduce.

I used to call this orangish red color “Ming red,” meaning the red color of the Ming Dynasty red lacquer. Some of the rare Song Dynasty lacquer ware I have seen in museums may not look that different to an untrained eye, but their colors are even more elegant and have more depth. The Song Dynasty was about 1000 years ago while the Ming Dynasty existed during the 1500’s. Is it because the older an object becomes, the more patina it develops? Or that the ancient artists had better taste? It is neither. It is because … please guess.

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§ 2 Responses to Ming Red

  • Iris, I learn something from you… now what is the answer? Was that because the light? Hope you have a great 2013 with peace, joy and growth.

    • Iris Wang says:

      Juanita, it is not the lighting. The difference is in the actual lacquer material, the way it is prepared and applied. But I do not know enough about the chemistry to give you more technical details. Thank you for your well wishes, and happy new year!


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