For Song dynasty people, tea is an essential, wonderful part of their daily lives. The term “chazhan” in the Song dynasty refers to tea bowls used to hold tea that people drank. Said bowl subsequently became a common utensil. Concerning the Chinese character “zhan” (盞), it does not have a defined shape but is generally wide at the top top and narrow at the bottom, similar to a funnel or an inverted Asian conical hat. In this book, the items in black glaze have different shapes and forms but were commonly referred to as zhan in the Song dynasty. Other less common names included wan or ou.
This book introduces how Song dynasty tea-drinking culture changed history, popularized black-glazed chazhan, and led to northern and southern kilns fighting to make black-glazed chazhan. Additionally, black-glazed chazhan passed down from the Qing court and now in the collection of the National Palace Museum are used to explain how different black-glazed chazhan retain their uniqueness and charm despite being made from/using different kilns (that adopted different firing techniques), glaze formulas, decoration methods, and zhan-shape combinations.
This book is one of the books in the Exploring the National Palace Museum series, which presents various topics in an easy-to-understand language. This book will teach readers how to appreciate the charm of black-glazed chazhan and the elegance of ceramics.