Fabricating the history of ancient Chinese toys with ceramics

More than 10,000 pieces of "Chinese ancient ceramic toys" appeared in Beijing Yushengtang Museum

Do you know that our ancestors started making toys in the Neolithic Age? The Tao of the Shang Dynasty, the scorpion of the Tang Dynasty, the chess piece of the Song Dynasty, the porcelain of the Qing Dynasty... In the history of the five thousand years of civilization in China, toys not only enriched and eulogized the life of the ancestors, but also highlighted their thick Awkward feelings condense their deep wisdom.

On the eve of June 1st, the Beijing Yushengtang Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the northwest suburbs of Beijing held a special exhibition of “Ancient Chinese Ceramic Toys”. The exhibition hall is called the ancient Chinese porcelain and plastic toys. Among them, the Ming Dynasty toys are mostly portraits, but most of them are lifelike. A figure ceramic toy that plays the instrument as shown on the right. There were not many toys in the Qing Dynasty, but the individual toys were large, and they were mostly portraits. The small animal is also a toy that the ancients like to make. The terracotta animal in the middle right picture is also covered with three small baboons that are eating milk. The shape is very cute; 蟾蜍, it is the good color of the palace.

Handed down treasures

On the eve of June 1st, the Beijing Yushengtang Chinese Medicine Museum in the northwest suburbs of Beijing held a “Chinese Ancient Ceramic Toys Exhibition”. From the Neolithic Age to the Republic of China, more than 10,000 ancient ceramic toys of various characters, animals and utensils will be open to children who are visiting.

“The exhibits are so huge and all are treasures. Almost none of them are fakes. Compared with the various exhibitions filled with counterfeits, it is a miracle. It is an unimaginable legacy in ancient Chinese history. It can be called the world. The most.” Wang Jianhua, a researcher at the Palace Museum in Beijing and a famous ceramic expert, was amazed after the visit.

Bo Yang, the 13th generation descendant of Yushengtang, said that these toys are the crystallization of the collections of the generations of Yushengtang for hundreds of years, and most of them are exhibited for the first time. “In the past, Mr. Qi Baishi and Mei Lanfang were very fond of this collection, and they often watched and played. Mr. Qi Gong also paid great attention to these toys during his lifetime. He has repeatedly proposed to hold an ancient toy exhibition and wrote inscriptions on these toys. After all, it failed to do so. Today's ancient Chinese ceramics toy exhibition, it can be said that the original motion was derived from Mr. Qi Gong."

Founded in the Ming Dynasty Wanli thirty-six years (1608), Yushengtang was originally a Shanxi Baijia drugstore. Since the Qing Dynasty, it has gradually become a collection of pharmaceutical shops, trade names and old-fashioned antiques. After the reform and opening up, Bai’s descendants restored their old names and founded China’s first private Chinese medicine museum in 1999. In addition to the exhibition of traditional Chinese medicine and cultural relics, the museum also exhibited various cultural relics such as old advertisements and old toys. Tens of thousands.

“Most of this exhibition is an ancient folk ceramic toy. Compared with the toys produced by the court and modern professional machines, it has a profound local flavor, mostly for the amateur work of ancient kiln workers. They are repeated in the same way. When you operate a certain kind of utensils, or when you are resting, let go of your imagination, and easily and naturally make a few small pieces of furniture, take them home, and play for your children." Bo Yang said, from the ceramics on display As can be seen from the toys, the ancients did not have as much image requirements as the other porcelains when they made these toys, often with randomness. It is this seemingly inadvertent performance that makes ancient ceramic toys full of fun, giving people a natural beauty with deep human touch.

Bo Yang said that ceramic toys are rarely involved in the history of ceramics, toys, and sculptures. Even if some of the contents of children's toys are kept, they are scattered. Therefore, the collection, arrangement and research of the system's porcelain plastic toys are basically blank in China. This exhibition not only fills this gap to a certain extent, but also becomes the longest one in the history of Chinese and foreign toys.


"Hey! So many monkeys, it’s like going to Huaguoshan!" In front of the exhibitor in the Tang Dynasty, a small friend pointed to the small porcelain monkeys in the cabinet and screamed.

In the showcase, a group of small monkeys sitting or lying or standing, scratching their heads, wiping their mouths, having ears, having a contemplative meditation, and playing with a little monkey, are really different and vivid.

During the Tang and Song Dynasties, the exhibits occupied a total of twelve large showcases. Bo Yang said that during the Tang and Song Dynasties, ceramic toys entered a stage of prosperity and development, and molds specially used for making ceramic toys began to appear, and glazing was becoming more and more refined. The variety of toys is also becoming more and more abundant, not only has more animal shapes, but also produces educational toys similar to modern Gobang and rolling balls.

In particular, influenced by the concept of being fat and beautiful at the time, the toy shapes of the Tang Dynasty were mostly full and strong. The little porcelain dogs are all chubby, and the small porcelain birds are also full of feathers. Some toys also reflect the cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries at the time. For example, a crested pot has obvious traces of Persian culture. There are also a few toys with high-knot-headed children's shapes, which look quite similar to the Olympic mascot "Fuwa". Many people look at the film and sigh, and sigh that the ancients and today's aesthetic concepts are so connected.

Bo Yang pointed to a small white glazed brown dog in the Song Dynasty and said to the reporter: "This is the smallest puppy in the exhibition, less than 3 cm high, but the bells on the neck and the tattoo on the body are clearly visible. At that time, the firing technique It is still immature, the toy of the kiln has a high shrinkage rate, and it is easy to be deformed and broken, but this is basically still the same as when it was kneaded. My Taizu really likes this sculpture to be a lively little porcelain dog, just take two bags. The grain changed the 'puppy' from someone else's hand, which was a big price at the time."

The reporter also found that many dog ​​toys have hidden mystery. A dog with a little deformed fat is actually dripping, and the big belly just fills the water. The other big-bellied dog was actually an ancient musical instrument.

According to relevant experts, the firing process of ancient toys is relatively more complicated than ordinary utensils. Although the objects are small, but the tires are glazed, it is very difficult. Generally, one hundred or two pieces of successful products can be produced by firing hundreds of pieces. Bo Yang said.

Far-reaching influence

"Ceramic toys have a long history in China. In the children's tombs of Yangshao Cultural Site in Banpo Village, Xi'an, many pottery chickens and pottery dogs were unearthed. After archaeologists, historians, and folklorists, these are considered. Small pottery chickens and small pottery dogs are the earliest children's toys.” Bai Yang said that in the Gansu, Qinghai Majiayao and Machang cultural sites, there were various animal models of the dogs in the pottery period. In the Han Dynasty, porcelain dog toys appeared in the early celadon. The subsequent Tang and Song Dynasties was the heyday of the development of ancient Chinese toys. After the Ming and Qing Dynasties, various folk toys such as mud, wood, cloth and bamboo were used. The development of ceramic toys has gradually decreased, and the quaint and childlike charm of ceramics has become less and less.

From the perspective of the ancient ceramic toys treasured by Yushengtang, animals are more varieties. Because animals have bodies, they are easy to exaggerate artistically, which is easy to cause children's curiosity and cause children's interest. I used to be an animal. At that time, the shape of the toy was very vivid, and it was very good at expressing the appearance and characteristics of the animal. Some of them intended to pursue a kind of funny and ridiculous charm in the image for the purpose of entertainment, making it more loved by children.

Bo Yang believes that the toys of wood, iron, cloth and other toys in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, as well as many toys nowadays, have evolved from ceramic toys, many of which have historical traces of ceramic toys. From the perspective of the development of ancient Chinese ceramics and sculptures, the development of toys has played a positive role in promoting and developing the imagination and creativity of kiln workers. Many toys have gradually evolved into ornaments for folk porcelain and even kiln artifacts. .

The influence of ancient folk ceramic toys on modern, modern Chinese and folk toys is unmatched by other works of art. Folk porcelain toys, which have traditionally been considered as "Da Ya Zhi Tang", have been praised by some painters, sculptors and children's toy designers since modern times. Many people have begun to study and learn the style of ancient porcelain plastic toys. . From the birds, beasts, fish, and insects of the Bada Shanren in the early Qing Dynasty to the paintings of modern painters Qi Baishi and Han Meilin, it is possible to find a direct blueprint in the porcelain plastic toys.

"Ancient toys are also important for the study of humanities, history, and animal and plant ecology, and even literature, aesthetics, acoustics, and mechanics. Most of these ancient toys are based on realism, and some of them originally recorded the movements of animals, plants, and people. All aspects of it," said Bo Yang.

In order to welcome the 2008 Olympic Games, Yushengtang also exhibited a number of ancient toys related to sports style, such as sumo wrestling, wrestling, cockfighting, horseback riding, juggling, dragon boat racing, etc., as well as ceramic balls and porcelain balls of all ages. Chess pieces and chess pieces of various periods.

"We are in contact with the Olympic Organizing Committee and are preparing to select a number of ancient toys related to the Olympic Games. During the Olympic Games, we will present the relevant ancient toys to the Olympic champions. For example, we will give a pair of 200 Songs of the Song Dynasty to the Go Championship, to the equestrian The champion presented the Song Dynasty horseman toy, presented the sumo wrestling toy to the sumo champion, and presented a group of Tang Dynasty projectiles to the shooting champion.

Emperor of the early Qing Dynasty

Toys are rarely retained

If time can be reversed, so that an ordinary people have the opportunity to be a nine-five-supreme emperor, these beautiful people should be eager to do so. However, the reporter saw from the relevant historical materials a table of the Wanli Emperor when he was ten years old: every day does not shine, Wanli Emperor needs to get up, after breakfast, he goes to the Wenhua Hall to listen to the day, all year round, except for the New Year and There are no holidays outside the weather such as the Great Cold and the Great Summer. I heard that half of the people have already retired, but the emperor of my own is not so good. "However, if you look at the toys in the palace, you can't help but admire the princes, emperors, princesses, and gems who can play traditional or Western court toys in a long time." The Palace Museum of Beijing Palace is dedicated to the court. Liu Baojian, an expert in toys, told reporters that from the traditional clay figurines and cloth tigers to the sophisticated and complicated mechanical dumping dramas, the toys in the palace are all varied and varied, many of which are rare goods that civilians have not seen. It is these toys that make the emperor's childhood full of splendid and innocent colors under the dignity and restraint.

"Now the toy collections in the Forbidden City are court toys in the late Qing Dynasty." Liu Baojian said this. In the place where the guarding and retention system was perfect in the Forbidden City, what kind of catastrophe was the Emperor’s toy in the early Qing Dynasty? What is the reason for the emperor's toys before the late Qing Dynasty to disappear? It turns out that according to the old custom in the court, the toy of the emperor will not pass to the next emperor. After the death of the emperor, the toys he once played will be burned, and thus will not be retained.

According to reports, in the late Qing Dynasty, the number of toys in the court suddenly increased, because the emperor of the emperor was only 6 years old, Guangxu was only 4 years old, and Pu Yi was only 3 years old. Although they are expensive, they are still children. In order to make the little emperor happy, playing with them with various toys has become the task of eunuchs, palace ladies, and sergeants. Not only that, but the Empress Dowagers and Taixis at that time also had a variety of toys in their hands, and they were prepared to enjoy the emperors, emperors, and gems during the New Year.

Among them, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Pu Yi, liked the mechanical dolls of Chinese Pi, Western Core.

With the rise of modern industry, the power toys and mechanical toys made in the West have injected vitality into the toy industry. In the face of small aircraft, trains, mechanical magicians, etc. that refer to mechanized production, through the dynamics of the toys, sounds and other performances, it is very easy to cause little masters to be curious and affectionate.

The mechanical doll of the Forbidden City is a Western-style machine that is a "core". The Chinese-style opera character is called "Pier". It is a model of the combination of Chinese and Western palace toys. This mechanical doll has a height of 91 cm and a base width of 54 cm. It is made in France in the 19th century. Dressed in a ugly dress, the hood is so delicate that it stands on the stage, standing on the table, and the left and right hands are supported on a chair. Wu Qiu’s square platform is equipped with mechanical devices for accompanying music and mechanical devices for controlling the movements of the ugly. After winding, the music sounded. In the music, Wu ugly raised his right hand repeatedly, then raised the chair with both hands, and his feet swung back and forth, and the body gradually moved up until the ground paralleled, and the body paused. At this time, Wu Ug repeatedly performed the action of spreading his right hand and helping again. Finally, Wu Ug both hands on the chair, the body moved down, and gradually returned to the original position, while the music stopped. According to historical records, in the twenty-ninth year of Emperor Qianlong (1764), a Western country had tribute 18 mechanical dolls, which can play the whole "West Chamber", and Zhang Sheng, Yan, Hong Niang and other dolls can "open their own boxes." Clothes, 揖 进 进 俨 俨 俨 俨 俨 俨 俨 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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