Glass in China

  • Emily B. Curtis
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

Glass has always occupied a marginal position in China. From the earliest times, it has exhibited a varied composition reflecting the disparate sources for raw materials, and it was further complicated by the occasional mingling of western glass in the manufacturing process. For instance, chemical analysis of early glass artifacts found in China showed that they had been made with soda (SiO 2) and lime (Na 2O) of western Asian origins. The fact that these specimens came mainly from the coasts of Guangxi and Guangdong provinces in southern China indicated that this glass, in the form of ingots or finished products, was imported through the maritime route. Glass was also shipped in large quantities as cullet (glass lumps and discarded broken vessels), suitable for remelting and making new glass inexpensively. Thus, while it is not always possible to establish the uniqueness of Chinese glass from a chemical standpoint, analyses have been able to shed light on its various components and...


Calcium Silicate Qing Dynasty Glass Object Glass Artisan Chinese Craftsman 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. An, J. (1991). The early glass of China. In R. H. Brill & J. H. Martin (Eds.), Scientific research in early Chinese glass (pp. 5–19). Corning, NY: The Corning Museum of Glass.Google Scholar
  2. Braghin, C. (Ed.). (2002). Chinese glass: Archaeological studies of the uses and social context of glass artefacts from the Warring states to the Northern song period (fifth century B.C. to twelfth century A.D.). Firenze, Italy: Leo S. Olschki Editore.Google Scholar
  3. Brill, R. H., & Martin, J. H. (Eds.). (1991). Scientific research in early Chinese glass. Corning, NY: The Corning Museum of Glass.Google Scholar
  4. Curtis, E. B. (Ed.). (2004). Pure brightness shines everywhere: The glass of China. Aldeshot, England: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  5. Gan, F. (2009). Ancient glass research along the silk road. Singapore: World Scientific.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ho, C. (2007). Glass. In W. Watson & C. Ho (Eds.), The arts of China after 1620 (pp. 170–181). New Haven, CT/London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Kwan, S. (2001). Early Chinese glass. Hong Kong: The Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  8. Warren, P. (1977). Later Chinese glass 1650–1900. Journal of Glass Studies, 19, 84–126.Google Scholar
  9. Xue, L. (2014). Qing dynasty Chinese glass (Zhong Guo Qing Dai Bo Li Yi Shu). Shanghai, China: Shanghai University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Yang Boda (1990). ‘Qingdai boli peifang huaxue chengfeng de yanjia’ (‘A study of chemical composition in the prescription for producing glass’), in Gugong bowuyuan yuankan (Palace Museum Journal), Beijing: Cultural Relics Publishing House, no. 2, pp. 17–29, 38.Google Scholar
  11. Yi, J., & Tu, S. (1991). Chinese glass technology in Boshan around the 14th century. In R. H. Brill & J. H. Martin (Eds.), Scientific research in early Chinese glass (pp. 99–101). Corning, NY: The Corning Museum of Glass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emily Byrne CurtisIndependent Scholar and ResearcherHobokenUSA