Some 300 royal porcelain artifacts and samples from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) are on display at the Palace Museum in Beijing, giving visitors a glimpse of the extravagant imperial lifestyle in the Forbidden City back during the 16th and 17th centuries.
The exhibition brings together the museum's well-preserved royal collections and pieces, restored out of unearthed ceramic chips from Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province, a town historically famous for its porcelain.
At 298 pieces in total, they were all made in the imperial kilns in Jingdezhen, east China's Jiangxi Province, during the reign of Ming emperors Jiajing, Longqing and Wanli, which covered 99 years during the 16th and 17th centuries.
"The items were buried deep in Jingdezhen or hidden in the imperial house," said Shan Jixiang, curator of the Palace Museum. "They are now presented to the public, because the imperial palace has transformed into our museum. The display is of great value for studies and research on the Ming Dynasty."
Many of the items on show were considered not good enough for the imperial court when they were first made, either because they were flawed in the final shapes, colors or prints. But now they have finally made their way into the Forbidden City.
Displayed alongside them were some porcelain items used by ordinary people of the same period. They give visitors a chance to observe the differences in quality by comparing the different groups of items.
Since the 1970s, archaeologists have excavated a huge amount of ceramic chips from the ruins of ancient imperial kilns in Jingdezhen, and have restored some 1,400 pieces of them. The show at the Palace Museum is scheduled to run through February 22 next year.