Sunday, February 21, 2016
Black Million Flower Porcelain
This decoration style on porcelain you see in the above pix is called "Black Million Flower". This porcelain is highly regarded in a few Malaysian tea circles. These drinkers found that using these cups to drink tea make the tea taste better. One Malaysian tea drinker attest to the tea being 'more mellow and more body' and the black million flower cups performed better than his 'Ming dynasty cups'.
The "black million flower" porcelain shown in the pix was made in Jingdezhen, China during the late 80s/early 90s. The various flower designs were hand painted with vibrant colors on a black background. I noticed that the larger peony flowers are reminisent of the style used for Peranakan or Nonya porcelain made before World War 2. The interior of these cups are not decorated.
I managed to lay my hands on some of these porcelain and you will noticed from the pix that I had got these tea ware in their original factory packed condition. A dozen teacups were wrapped with paper and further protected by a roll of cardboard paper. I got a pair of tea caddies as well. These pretty 8 inch high tea caddies were packed in a pair and came in a box as seen in the 8th pix.
Does tea taste better in these cups? I found that most of the teacups produced during the 80s and early 90s do help enhance a tea drinking session in terms of aesthetics and age of the teacups. Many tea drinkers I know, believe teacups made during this period does make the tea 'smoother'.
I feel very thirsty.
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I don't understand, they think the decoration makes the tea taste better?
Such topics like this tea ware are commonly discussed and argued over a friendly tea session with fellow tea drinkers. You would have noticed that tea drinkers, from within and outside Asia, had also found using chinese teacups made in the 80s/90s do make the tea rounder (whatever that means). My best guess, is that this porcelain retains heat well and the 'warmer' tea may taste better to the tea drinker.
It's becoz of the materials and they way they are made. If baked using wood fire, the porcelain will emit far infrared. Which makes tea mellow.
Infrared is just heat, isn't it? You mean heat retention? These items remind me of what is called "cafeteria" porcelain ware made in the USA in the 1950s. It is thicker and made to withstand extremely hot institutional dish washing machines. I recently got rid of all plastic dinner ware and replaced with this older porcelain. I think the food tastes better. The one downside is in cold weather, the thick porcelain also holds cold and the food cools faster.
On the plus side, I like the decoration, the painting on this porcelain ware that Wilson shows here. I've been buying gaiwans from the 1980s because I like the painting and the prices are lower than many new items today.
Heat is also a factor. With wood oven, the porcelain produced will emit infra red. Hence will improve tea. Differences will be noted by using a wood kiln ware n electric oven ware.
Where did you get your set though? My wife loves the patterns, her late mother used to have one, and she would love to have a set.
Hello Jason. I just returned from an Ipoh/KL trip and noticed quite a number of Chinese tea shops have a few of these porcelain for sale. There are slightly pricey. It is quite difficult to locate and purchase them in Singapore as most of these tea ware (esp the larger pieces) are already in the hand of collectors. Hope you have success locating them.
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