Xiuneisi Guan & Ge Wares Kiln Site Found!!
Last year, I wrote an article regarding the possible discovery of the Xiuneisi Guan Kiln Site at Laohudong (tiger cave). The discovery of the kiln site at Tiger cave located at the Phoenix mountain, Hangzhou in 1996 has received much attention both in China and overseas. The kiln site covers an area approximately 2500 sq m. Three dragon kilns, four kiln furnaces for firing biscuits, and other kiln furnitures were found. Tens of thousands of shards were unearthed from more than 20 hoards at the site. The quality of the shards were exquisite and of high quality. The characteristics of the shards are very similar to the extant Guan wares in the National Palace museum of Taiwan and Beijing; and those in the David Percival foundation musuem and the British Museum.
Initially there were much speculations that the tiger cave (Laohudong) which is located very near the Song Imperial palace is the site of Xiuneisi kiln. However, many of the experts disagreed because of the presence of sherds which were apparently Yuan products. According to Ye Zhen's Tan Zai Bi Heng, it is stated that after the court move to the south, an official by the name of Shao Chengzhang was appointed to set up kilns in accordance with the practice of the old capital and under the Xiuneisi Department to produce porcelain wares to meet the needs of imperial court and the sacrificial rites; later, kilns were built at the foot of the Jiaotan (Suburban Altar). Hence, it was assumed that Xiuneisi ceased production after Jiaotan kilns were built and therefore it is impossible to find Yuan wares on the kiln site.
After more than 5 years of investigations, numerous studies and discussions, the foremost Chinese experts have finally made the following important conclusion: the tiger cave kiln site is the Xiuneisi Guan kiln site and also the location which produced Ge wares during Yuan Dynasty.
Written by: NK Koh (updated : 3 Nov 01)