Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware- part 1

I had an errand to do in the city, and didn't want to make the trip without doing something constructive, asked google and here I was not far from the Flagstaff house museum of tea ware , which is also know for being the oldest example of western-style architecture remaining in Hong Kong.
The Flagstaff house museum of tea ware is a branch of the Hong kong museum of art, it specialized in the collection, study and display of tea ware .
Although the museum was only partially open due to renovations, I still enjoyed my visit and learned many things.

My first visit was at the K.S LO gallery, on the first floor they have a permanent exhibition  where I discovered beautiful range of Chinese ceramics, calligraphy  and pictorial seals, which were used for signatures in personal and official documents.

Chinese seals are typically made of stones, metal, wood, bamboo, plastic or ivory, they are used with red ink or cinnabar paste.

tools to make the seals 


 I loved the museum design from the inside with its geometric windows

The original idea of carving seals knob, was to make carrying and stamping easier. As time went on this became and ornamental feature.

This is a Lion seal knob. Lion is the king of animals and is highly respected in the Buddhism, it is also the symbole of power and wealth in the society, people believed that it can drive away evil spirits .

Lion seal knob

There are 2 methods of seal carving, the Intaglio and the relief carvings.
1-The Intaglio carving : the strokes of the characters are incised to creat white text against a red background.
2- The relief carving : the strokes of characters are in relief as the blank parts are incised

The text means plum blossom in a house and the seal was done in alternate  intaglio and relief carving.

This carving is a combination of Chinese painting and relief carving. The theme can be wide to cover landscape, bird and flowers, portraits and animals

this carving is the lotus which represents the flower of summer and good caracter of purity 
Some seals are carved with pictures and auspicious patterns, that are called pictural seals, they serve for both leisure and auspicious purposes. They can have many themes, dragon, phoenix, tiger, fish etc. as well as agriculture and dancing scenes

Round Seal with incised phoenix ( the symbole of good fortune )
Carved by Jian Jinglun
dated 1935

The stoneware mould was introduced at the Ding kilns. By pressing the interior of a pre-glazed bowl or dish against a design-bearing mould, the design which is in intaglio, would be transferred onto the bowl and appear in slight relief.
This technique requires less skills and ensured the production of a series of uniform pieces.

Stoneware mould incised with lotus and mandarin duck design
Jin dynasty, c.1200

Qinqbai is term meaning blue white, it refers to the color of the glaze. It's a type of white porcelain ware made in the Song and Yuan periods . 

Large northern black ware bowl with russet brown decoration.
Southern Song( 1127-1279 )

 Of course there is many other things to see and discover if you want to see more I encourage you to visit the museum.
I will feature the rest of my visit in another blog post stay tuned.


  1. Thank you Shanty, can't wait to do the part 2 of it to share more