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There is a saying in ancient China: Even he who has a big sum of money cannot buy porcelain covered with gold leaves. Last week, however, I found a Jingdezhen porcelain shop where porcelain covered with gold leaves was on sale.


The shopkeeper Mr. Yu greeted me warmly. He told me he comes from Jingdezhen, the ¡®Capital of Porcelain.¡¯ The company he works at is the only manufacturer of porcelain with gold leaf patterns. To master the unique process, a number of skillful potters have been experimenting for over 14 years.


Then he showed me the most amazing item in the shop ¨C a red porcelain tea set covered with gold leaves. The golden pattern on the big teapot features a dragon and a phoenix. The whole set looked very gorgeous and luxurious.


And what is more, when you put a teacup under the spout, tea will start pouring automatically! As the water level nearly reaches the rim, the pouring stops. And if the tea is clear enough, you can see a beautiful girl¡¯s portrait appearing at the bottom of the cup.


Due to their exclusive techniques, each of their high-end porcelain items is different from any others. I must say they are very fit for any collection.


Apart from charming artistic porcelain, this shop also has a variety of bone china tableware on display, such as bowls, plates, and ashtrays. They are high quality but inexpensive. If you pick up two pieces and knock them together gently, a resonant and melodious sound will drift in the air.


What I appreciated

Unique Jingdezhen porcelain, top quality


What customers appreciate

Jingdezhen porcelain, superior workmanship

Beijing pictures, Eggshell porcelain bowls

In the country of origin for porcelain, the most famous place for producing porcelain is Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province. In fact, the city¡¯s name is synonymous with porcelain.


Walk 15 minutes southward from Tian¡¯anmen Square, and you can find a JingDeZhen shop called JiangQingZhai on ZhuShiKou East Street.


On my visit there, I found something amazing. One that really reflects a saying about JingDeZhen porcelain, ¡®white as jade, thin as paper, bright as mirror, and sounds as chime stone¡¯.


I discovered two porcelain bowls on a shelf. One is bigger than the other. Both are so thin that even look transparent in some areas. This style is called hollowed-out work, and looks amazing. The bowls are painted in various types of blue patterns.


Another appealing piece was a set of ten eggshell bowls. Each is laid inside another, with the smallest in the center. The exterior surface of each bowl has paintings of lovely, vivid flowers and birds. Tag price for this set of bowls is 860 yuan.


What I appreciated

Jingdezhen porcelain, porcelain bowls as thin as paper


What customers appreciate

Elaborate eggshell porcelain bowls


Need that perfect piece to match your dining table at a price that's not through the roof? Then stop by the newly opened Spin ceramic workshop in Chaoyang district, and check out their modern ceramic art designs. Spin's current product line contains more than 150 limited-edition tableware items.

Under the direction of Gary Wang, a Chinese-American designer who hails from New York, Spin blends modern style and traditional Chinese handcraft decorating techniques."This craft is fading out in China, but we want to keep the heritage of Jingdezhen alive and promote contemporary ceramic design," says co-owner Germaine Zhou.

One of their more popular items is a set of ceramic teapots, for a bit under RMB 1000, perfect for an afternoon tea break with your friends. The designs are unique, and certainly not like other tea sets you¡¯ll find in Beijing.

By spending RMB 100 or more, you can get a complementary dedicated porcelain cup. The shop owners speak good English, so they can help you learn more about porcelain art.

What I appreciate

The set of teapots

What customers appreciate

Great porcelain with both the modern style and traditional Chinese handcraft

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Beijing Shopping: There is a saying in ancient China: Even he who has a big sum of money cannot buy porcelain covered with gold leaves. Last week, however, I found a Jingdezhen porcelain shop where porcelain covered wi...