On the hottest research on ancient Chinese glass

  • Detail

Key words: glass raw material technology

Abstract: the word glass appeared with the Chinese translation of Indian Buddhist scriptures in the Wei, Jin and southern and Northern Dynasties, and it is not strictly different from glass. As early as the Western Zhou Dynasty, China had a local glass manufacturing industry, and the Western glass making technology was introduced into China during the Wei, Jin, southern and Northern Dynasties. The ingredients of lead sodium glass made in early China are different from those of Western soda lime glass. It can be mainly divided into ornaments, imitation jade, daily use, etc. The sluggish development of ancient Chinese glass technology is mainly due to its weak texture and the highly developed manufacturing technology of bronze and porcelain, which also inhibits its development to a certain extent


the earliest records about glass in China were found in the book of history, Yu Gong ① in this book, a byproduct similar to jade formed during smelting bronze or alchemy is called "Miao Lin", and the word "Luli" has appeared in many places in the book of Chu ②. Although what is mentioned in the above ancient documents is what we call glass now, the word glass officially appeared with the Chinese translation of Indian Buddhist scriptures in the Wei, Jin, southern and Northern Dynasties. For example, in the "Buddha said Amitabha Sutra" ③, there is "the blissful land has seven treasure pools, which are filled with water of eight merits, and the bottom of the pool is made of pure Jinsha, and the steps are made of gold, silver, glass and glass..." And so on. At that time, the words "colored glaze" and "glass" in the translated Buddhist scriptures were often used together. In ancient China, glass also had different names such as "poli", "Liushi" and "yaoyu". As for the relationship between glass and glass, in China's leading monograph on glass technology - "miscellaneous notes of Yan Shan" (④), there is "for the glass, the stone is the quality, the nitrate is mixed with it, the reef is forged with it, and the copper, iron, and lead are changed. It is not stone, it is not nitrate, it is not fine, it is not copper, iron, and lead, and it is born after three combinations." According to the records of, the so-called colored glass refers to low melting point artificial glass similar to modern silicate. However, some scholars believe that glass is artificially made and transparent, while glass is naturally formed, opaque or translucent, such as jade or some gemstones, has been exported in batches to 15 countries and regions such as Japan, South Korea, the United States, Europe and so on. In fact, the basic composition of rocks in nature is similar to that of silicate glass. If underground magma condenses and hardens rapidly during volcanic eruption, natural glass can be formed, such as brown and translucent obsidian. This kind of natural glass is the first glass used by human beings, so it is difficult to determine the difference between colored glass and glass. After the Qing Dynasty, colored glaze refers to glazed bricks and tiles made of low-temperature painted pottery used in buildings. In the late Qing Dynasty, glass products were renamed as utensils


previously, most scholars believed that the glass in ancient China came from foreign countries, but archaeology has proved that China had a glass manufacturing industry in the Western Zhou Dynasty 3000 years ago. At present, the earliest colored glass found in China includes white colored glass beads unearthed from the early Western Zhou tombs in pangjiagou, Luoyang, light green colored glass beads unearthed from the Western Zhou tombs in Zhongzhou Road, Luoyang, and colored glass beads and glass tubes unearthed from the Western Zhou tombs in rujiazhuang, Baoji. The test results of cultural relics show that the ancient glass in China belongs to lead barium glass. It is confirmed by isotope method that the mineral source of lead raw materials used in glass manufacturing in China does not exist in the Western glass manufacturing center and nearby areas. Therefore, it is completely certain that China has its own independent glass manufacturing industry in ancient times

from the spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period to the Han Dynasty, the development of glass manufacturing was relatively slow, but more than 80 of the more than 100 Chu tombs found in Changsha have unearthed colored glass. These glazed wares are mostly made of imitation jade, and their colors include dark green, beige, light green, milky white, etc. it can be inferred that Changsha area was probably one of the important producing areas of ancient glazed wares at that time. The technology reflected in the glazed beads unearthed in Han Tombs in Guangzhou, Yangzhou, Baotou, Luoyang, Handan and other regions has basically inherited the tradition of the Warring States period, and the production areas are mainly distributed in the Central Plains, Hexi Corridor and Lingnan

to the Wei, Jin, southern and Northern Dynasties, China's glass technology had a certain development. "Wei Shu" ⑤ Dayue's article states: "when the emperor Shizu, his countrymen traders came to the capital, and the stones were made of five colored glaze from Yunneng. Therefore, the stones of his country were mined and cast in the capital, and the luster was more beautiful than those from the West." "Baopuzi" ⑥ also says, "foreign water essence bowls are actually made of five kinds of ashes. Today, many people have their own methods to cast them." Records of. Two conclusions can be drawn from the above two documents: first, it is confirmed that glassware was indeed manufactured in China at that time. Secondly, it is confirmed that at this time, with the strengthening of exchanges between China and foreign countries, Western glass production technology was imported as well as Western glass. What is consistent with ancient documents is that glass bowls, cups, bowls, and notes made at that time were found in Jingxian County, Dingxian County, Hebei Province, Beipiao, Liaoning Province, Nanjing and Xiangshan


the basic composition of ancient Chinese glass was mainly lead and barium from the Western Zhou Dynasty to the Wei, Jin, southern and Northern Dynasties. This kind of glass has a low melting point, brittle and fragile texture, and its formula is not stable in the production process. Therefore, due to the limitation of texture, the early glass production process only adopted the same mold casting method as bronzes. The specific process is: first create a solid clay mold to determine the shape, and carve the decoration, then paste the processed clay mold on the mold, so that the decoration on the mold is stamped on the clay mold, and then divide and remove it after the clay mold is half dry to form an outer mold. After dividing, scrape a layer off the surface of the master mold to form an inner mold. The scraped thickness is the thickness of the tool wall. After the inner mold and the outer mold are dried in the shade and shaped, they are fired to form a ceramic mold. Finally, after casting, cooling and other processes, the glassware with decorative patterns is cast. Later, a small number of glass products used technical means such as wrapping, dripping and tempering. After entering the northern and Southern Dynasties, Western soda lime glass was introduced into China. This kind of glass has stronger texture and better heat resistance than lead barium glass. In addition, the introduction of Western blowing method made the development of Chinese glass technology faster than that in the early stage, especially in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, which was the peak period of the development of ancient glass manufacturing industry in China. According to the records of Yan Shan miscellany ⑦, Yan Shen town in Boshan, Shandong Province, has become one of the main bases of glass production in the Ming Dynasty. At that time, it was able to make curtains made of cyan glass rods. During the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty, the court set up a glass factory under the manufacturing office of the Yangxin Hall of the Ministry of internal affairs to produce the so-called utensils. The raw materials and craftsmen used were mainly from two important glass producing areas, Guangzhou and Boshan. From Qianlong to the early years of Jiaqing, glass craft reached its peak at that time. Neiting glass factory integrated the glass craft techniques of North and South China and Europe, and made glass products with different decorative effects with different technologies, mainly including nesting, mixing, carving, Venus, etc. The so-called nesting is to use a variety of different colors of raw materials, and then grind them to form decorative effects with different levels and ground colors. The mixing material is mixed with different colored raw materials under high temperature to form glass with natural stripes. The colors of glass mainly include red, yellow, white, black, gold, green, purple and so on. Therefore, jadeite, Huhu, white jade and so on can be imitated arbitrarily


from the ancient glass relics found in archaeology, it can be seen that most of them were ornaments during the Zhou to the spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, and jade imitation was the main type from the Warring States period to the Western Han Dynasty. After the northern and Southern Dynasties, glass technology became independent, and the form and technology showed a trend of multiple and complex development, and became more daily-use

among the ornaments of the Warring States period, there is one kind worth mentioning, that is, the glass eyes of Western Asia were introduced into China through nomads, and the glassmakers in the Central Plains imitated Dragonfly eye tube ornaments. By the late Warring States period, it was possible to inlay colorful spots and dazzling Dragonfly eyes on the tubes with exquisite manual skills. The shape and quality of its tube are similar to that of Cong, which also has the meaning of pursuing good fortune and avoiding evil. This ornament has been unearthed in ancient tombs of the Warring States period. In ancient times, jade like glassware was mainly used as a substitute for jade. Because jade was strictly defined as the exclusive use of royal families and royal families in the burial system of the Western Han Dynasty, it was quite common to use jade like glassware for burial in the Western Han Dynasty. This kind of glassware was mainly in the form of Bi, Huan, Huang and ornaments, sword ornaments, seven scabbard ornaments, and even pieces of jade like glassware ⑧ were found in archaeology


the preparation work before installation in China 1 there are two main reasons why the development of glass technology in ancient China was slower than that in Western Europe: first, the technology of pottery, bronze, porcelain and lacquer in ancient China was highly developed, which made the requirements for the development of glass technology not very urgent, thus inhibiting the development of glass technology to some extent, This is one of the main reasons why Western glass formula and technology were not as prosperous as European glass technology after they were introduced into China in the Wei, Jin, southern and Northern Dynasties. Second, the texture of China's early local glass was not ideal, resulting in the lagging of glass decoration technology with the advantage of scope and declining procurement costs. This can be reflected in ancient documents, such as the record in "Yan fan Lu" ⑨: "the glass made in China... Is very bright in color, light and crisp in quality, rich in hot wine, and easily broken. Whoever comes from a sea ship, the system is poor and dull, and the color is also dim. Although it is injected in a hundred boiling soup, it is no different from magnetic silver, and it will not be damaged". There is also a saying in the records of the various Buddhists ⑩ that "the glaze came out of the great food of various countries, and the method of burning and refining is the same as that of China. Its method is burned with lead, nitrate and gypsum, and the great food is added with borax, so it is not strong, the most resistant to cold and summer, and the water is not bad, so it is valuable in China." Sentence of. It can be seen that the problems of brittle texture and high temperature resistance have not been well solved in the local glass making process


① Shang Shu Yu Gong was handed down to the spring and Autumn period, and Kong Qiu wrote it on the side

② Chu Ci, the Warring States period, written by Qu Yuan, Song Yu, etc., compiled by Liu Xiang in the Han Dynasty

③ Buddha said Amitabha Sutra, translated by Yao Qin and Kumara

④ ⑦ miscellaneous notes of Yan Shan, written by sun Tingquan, Ming Dynasty

⑤ the book of Wei was written in the Northern Qi Dynasty

⑥ baopuzi, written by Ge Hong in the two Jin Dynasties

⑧ in 1977, nearly 600 pieces of glass clothes were unearthed from the tomb of Mo Shu in Han Dynasty, Jiangxi Province, Jiangsu Province

⑨ "performing numerous dew" in Song Dynasty, written by Cheng Dachang

⑩ "records of the Tibetan" in Song Dynasty, written by Zhao Rushi


coloured glaze, Wang Min, Shanghai Arts and crafts, 1998, issue 3

"ancient glass" will be Xuanyi, cultural relics, 1959, No

Copyright © 2011 JIN SHI