Long-necked vase, Tang dynasty (618–907), white glaze stoneware, height 15,2 cm

Long-necked vase, Tang dynasty (618–907). White glazed stoneware, height 15,2 cm. National Gallery Prague, Vu 220.

Non-porous white glazed ceramics were first introduced in China during the Period of Division after the fall of the Han dynasty, and were further perfected under the Tang dynasty, when in certain cases the ware attained standards commensurable with ceramics classifiable as porcelain according to European criteria (vitrified hard body, white colour, translucency and sonority). However, a number of variants exist as to the hardness of the biscuit. The shapes of these vessels often followed archaic forms, such as in the case of this long-necked vase from northern kilns.