Thanks to Chinese ingenuity, today billions of people can enjoy a hearty serving of noodles out of a large, beautiful porcelain bowl. Both porcelain (a white clay popular for dinnerware because of its strength and beauty) and the often-greenish celadon glaze (designed to make ceramics resemble jade) were invented by ancient Chinese potters.
Japanese potters quickly followed the Chinese in turning functional porcelain into an art form. Both Japanese and Chinese antique porcelain bowls are known for their vividly colorful and intricate imagery, portraying everything from mythological images of dragons, lions, and phoenixes to flowers, fruits, and gourds.
A pattern that became popular in China and was made exclusively for export in the 1850s is known as rose medallion. It’s characterized by a gold circle enclosing a bird and flowe...
In Tibet, bowls serve yet another purpose. Tibetan singing bowls are technically bells thought to bring healing through their tones and vibrations. Used in Buddhist meditation, antique singing bowls are made of a bronze alloy that includes copper, tin, nickel, silver, gold, and zinc. A good singing bowl makes several tones at once, which careful listeners can pick out.