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Treasures of Ancient China

Treasures of Ancient China


Item Code: NAC292

Good Earth Publications and Archaeological Survey of India
ISBN 9789380262321

Size: 11.8 Inch X 8.4 Inch
Pages: 300 (Illustrated Throughout In Color)
Weight of the Book: 1.69 Kg
Price: $50.00
Discounted: $37.50   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
Viewed times since 2nd Feb, 2013



The exhibition, ‘Treasures of Ancient China’, is the result of one and a half years of hard work by experts from India and China. It opens in the National Museum (New Delhi) in February and then tours Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay (Mumbai), Salar Jung Museum (Hyderabad) and the National Library (Kolkata).

Early in 2006, when the exhibition, ‘Treasures of Ancient India’, celebrated its grand opening in the Capital Museum in Beijing, its co-sponsors, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), decided to hold an itinerant exhibition composed of Chinese antiquities in India as an exchange.

This exhibition is the product of co-operation and diligent work of the archaeological organizations and researchers from the two countries. Four outstanding museums and institutions in India provide the venue for this exhibition. The exhibits are drawn from the Capital Museum, Henan Museum, Three Gorges Museum and Museum of the Western Han Dynasty Mausoleum of the Nanyue King where the exhibition, ‘Treasures of Ancient India’ was housed. Besides, the Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Cultural Heritage and Liangzhu Museum also lent generously to the exhibition. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the above-mentioned organizations for their contribution to China-India exchanges in the field of cultural heritage. In the meantime, a large debt of gratitude is owed to the Chinese Embassy and the Indian Embassy, which have spared no efforts in supporting this exhibition.

Seven thousand years ago, the Yangtze River Basin nurtured a rice-cultivation culture, the Hemudu Culture, whereas the Yellow River Basin bred a millet-cultivation culture, the Peiligang Culture and the Yangshao Culture. Exhibits representing the above cultures include polished stone tools, daily-use potteries from the Neolithic Age, and the bronze ritual vessels which the nobles of Shang and Zhou dynasties sacrificed to their ancestors; while the concept of serving the dead as if they are still alive’ in traditional Chinese culture can be said to be vividly reflected by the daily-use bronze vessels and jade objects of the Han nobles, compared to their burial potteries and funerary representations. Porcelain is a great invention of ancient China, to the extent that in many languages, the word ‘china’ means both the nation and porcelain. In this exhibition, selected porcelain objects, some of which date to the l3 century, are presented. The collection of these exhibits reveals aspects of the material and spiritual life led by people of different historical phases, which is also a reflection of the historical evolution of dynastic China as well as its civilization and wisdom.

Both China and India are amongst the world’s greatest and oldest civilizations. Originating from both sides of the Himalayas, the rivers — Yangtze, Yellow, Indus and the Ganges — nourished two great nations and their glorious civilizations. The cultural exchange between the two nations dated far back to the Han Dynasty, when the envoys sent to Central Asia brought back information of a warm and rich India. Since Buddhism was introduced into China, communication between the two civilizations became more frequent and closer, of which, Master Tang Xuanzang was a representative. Initiating his journey from Chang’an, Master Xuanzang spent more than ten years studying Buddhism in the Nalanda Temple, from where he brought back volumes of Sanskrit sutras to China. The introduction of Buddhism provided an exceptional opportunity for philosophical and intellectual exchanges in ancient China. The friendly exchange between the two civilizations was recorded by many Buddhist artifacts, some of which are selected for this exhibition.

The recent years have witnessed a wider and deeper cultural link, devoted to preserving cultural heritage for the benefit of the people of the two nations. An excellent example of this link was the exhibition, ‘Treasures of Ancient India’, that took place between 2006 and 2007, and attracted more than 3,10,000 visitors. Religious and secular statues from the well-known Buddhist sites of India, including Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Nalanda, and the renowned World Cultural Heritage Site of Khajuraho, were shown to Chinese viewers. The solemn Buddhist statues, the lithe and graceful Yakshis and other sculptures fascinated the Chinese viewers.

While that spectacular exhibition is still fresh in our memory, four years later, today’s right before the most important festival of China, the Spring Festival, we have brought approximately 95 sets of Chinese treasures to Indian viewers, among which are the world-famous terracotta warriors of the First Emperor, the tn-coloured glazed pottery of the Tang dynast and Buddhist statues from the famous Longmen Grottoes, to comprise the exhibition, ‘Treasures of Ancient China’.

We sincerely hope that this exhibition will set an example for cultural exchanges between the two countries and serve as a bridge to promote understanding and friendship between the two peoples. I wish complete success to the ‘Treasures of Ancient China’ exhibition.


Message from the Minister of Culture, India – Kumari Selja 16
Message from Ambassador of India to China – S Jaishankar 18
Message from Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to India – Zhang Yan 20
Message from Director General of Archaeological Survey of India – Gautam Sengupta 22
Message from Director General of Art Exhibitions China – Wang Jun 24
Message from Administrator of National Museum, New Delhi – C V Ananda Bose 26
Message from the Director of C.S.M.V.S Museum, Mumbai – Sabyasachi Mukherjee 28
Message from Director-in-charge of Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad – A Nagender Reddy 30
Message from Director General of National Library, Kolkata – Swapna Chakravaorty 32
Message from the Director (Museum) of Archaeological Survey of India - Urmilasant 34
Foreword by the Director General of State Administration of Cultural Heritage of People’s Republic of China – Shan Jixiang 40
Introduction 48
Exhibits 1-95 86
1. Millstone and Stick 86
2. Sickle 88
3. Spade 90
4. Painted Pottery Pot 92
5. Painted Pottery Vat 94
6-11. Stone Implements 96
12. Bronze Lei Vessel with Animal-face Design108
13. Bronze Gu Vessel with Animal-face Design 110
14. Bronze Jia Vessel with Animal-face Design 112
15. Bronze Jue Vessel with Animal-face Design 114
16. Bronze Bu Vessel 116
17. Bronze Hu Vessel 118
18. Bronze Gui Vessel 120
19. Bronze Jue Vessel with Animal-face Design 122
20. Bronze Square Lei Vessel with Inscription of ZI124
21. Bronze Ding Vessel with Animal-face Design 126
22. Bronze Ding Vessel with Inscription ‘Yang’128
23. Bronze You Vessel with Inscription ‘Zuobao’ 130
24. Bronze Pan Vessel132
25. Bronze Sword and Scabbard134
26. Bronze Ding with Inscription of Wangziwu (with Bi Spoon) 136
27. Bronze Ding with Coiled Cloud Pattern138
28. Bronze Dui Vessel140
29. Terracotta Soldier 142
30. Terracotta Warrior 144
31. Jade Sword Ornaments 146
32. Jade Bi Disc 154
33. Jade Bi Disc with Dragon Design 156
34. Bronze Ding Vessel with Inscriptions of ‘Panyu’ 158
35. Bronze Small Ding Vessel of the Han Style 160
36. Bronze Lamp162
37. Bronze Mirror in the Qin style 164
38. Bronze Mirror in the Chu style 166
39. Apricot-shaped Gold Ornaments 168
40. Pottery Ding with Inscription 170
41. Pottery Gourd-shaped Pot 172
42. Pottery Incense Burner 174
43. Green-glazed Pottery Two-storey Pavilion 176
44. Grey Pottery Figurines Putting on Robe 176
45. Pottery Figurines Putting on Role 178
46. Pottery Nursing Female 180
47. Pottery Seated Official 182
48. Pottery Figurine with Dish in Hand184
49/53. Pottery Figurines Playing Qin Musical Instrument 186
50/52. Pottery Dancing Figurines 188
51. Stone Story-teller Figurines 190
54. Pottery Figurine Blowing Xiao Musical Instrument 194
55. Decorated Tomb Brick Carved with Lecturing Scene 196
56. Pottery Money-tree Stand 198
57. Stone Tomb Gate 200
58. Decorated Tomb Brick with Carved Scene of Carriage and Horse Crossing a Bridge 202
59. Brick with Dragon Design 204
60. Stone Bodhisattva 206
61. White-glazed Porcelain Coin Jar 208
62. Tri-coloured Pottery Tripod Burner 210
63. Tri-coloured Pottery Handled Ewer 212
64. Tri-coloured Pottery Small Yu Jar 214
65. White-glazed Porcelain Vase 216
66. Gilded Silver Hairpin Chai 218
67. Silver Hairpin Zan (2 pieces) 220
68. Tri-coloured Pottery Female Rider 222
69. Tri-coloured Pottery Male Rider224
70. Tri-coloured Pottery Horse 226
71. Tri-coloured Pottery Standing Female Figure 228
72. Tri-coloured Pottery Standing Male Figure230
73/74. Tri-coloured Pottery Standing Figure in Wind-hat (2 pieces) 232
75. Tri-coloured Pottery Tomb Guardian with Leonine Head 234
76. Tri-coloured Pottery Tomb Guardian 236
77. Stone Standing Avalokitesvara 238
78. Gilded Bronze Avalokitesvara240
79. Stone Head of Mahastamaprapta 242
80. Stone Warrior 244
81. Stone Stupa with Date Inscription 246
82. Seated Stone Bodhisattva 248
83. Stone Sarira Urn 250
84. Blue-and-white Porcelain Jar Painted with Story (Jingdezhen Kiln) 252
85. Porcelain Flattened Pot with black Dragon Design on White Ground (Cizhou Kiln) 254
86. Porcelain Zun Vase with Carved Peony Design (Longquan Kiln) 256
87. Bronze Mirror with Avalokitesvara Image 258
88. Lazurite Blue-glazed Procelain Jar with Phoenix Design 260
89. Blue and white Porcelain Covered Jar 262
90. Wucai Polychrome Porcelain Box 264
91. Gilded Bronze Green Tara 266
92. Bronze Avalokitesvara 268
93. Gilded Bronze Sakyamuni 270
94. Underglazed Blue and red Porcelain Vase 272
95. Fencai (mixed glazed) Porcelain Zun Vase with Deer Design 274
A Hoard of Chinese Blue and White Porcelain from Delhi - Brmani 278
Early Farming Tools of India and China – Urmila Sant 284
Inherited Artifacts, Treasures of China – Song Xinchao 291
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