Eggplant purple is high temperature colored glaze
using manganese as color generation agent. Manganese
is put in the glaze containing high alkali content.
It is called eggplant purple because its glaze color
is smooth just like the ripe eggplant skin. It is
divided into light eggplant purple and deep eggplant
purple according to the shades of its color generation.
The color of the light eggplant is between cowpea
and "yundou" and it has little difference
with red. In addition, it is also called grape purple,
rose purple and so on. Among the low temperature
glazes, it also include spray purple made in the
The eggplant purple is created in the Ming dynasty.
It is suffused with blue in purple and the glaze
is both fleshy and smooth during the years of Hongzhi.
The vessel shapes include "xizun", "zun"
with two ears in the shape of ribbon and so on.
Although the variety of the eggplant purple has
already been produced during the years of Jiaqing
and Wanli, the modeling is not clearer and neater
than the ones made during the years of Hongzhi.
There are two kinds of glaze color during the years
of Jiaqing. One is the light one, the other is the
deep one. The deep one takes on blackish purple
and it is often glazed on large tributary wares
such as big plates, big bowls and so on. The light
one takes on light purple just like unripe eggplant
skin and it is often glazed on the relatively fine
plates and bowls. Among them, the crackled ones
are the best because the color is pure and the glaze
is hard. But if the cracks are close, it belongs
to the second class. The glaze color is divided
into three kinds: the light one, the deep one and
the old fashioned dark one. The light one is bright-
colored. It is mainly used in the decorative wares.
The deep one is deeper than the ordinary eggplant
purple. The glaze is bright. It is often used in
the single colored wares. The old fashioned dark
is used in the "sancai" and so on.
purple glazed plate carved cloud and dragon design