Christiaan JORG
The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden 德國德累斯頓國家藝術收藏館

The Dresden Porcelain Project: Cataloguing a Royal Collection of Asian Export Porcelain
德累斯頓瓷器研究計劃:著錄皇室收藏亞洲外銷瓷器收藏

Together with silk and tea, porcelain was one of the commodities from China that traveled the world. Like tea and silk, it was exotic, exclusive and much sought after in Asia and, since the 16th century, in the West. For Europeans, the decoration on porcelain often was their very first impression of a non-Western culture, making them wonder about the world and its marvels.

Tea and silk decay quickly, but porcelain has an almost eternal life, even if broken and therefore often is considered a good example of early globalism in material culture. In the West, it was influential as a new element in Western interior design, it was at the core of changing eating and drinking habits in Europe around 1700 and it strongly influenced the chinoiserie fashion in the 18th century.

Porcelain was widely in use in Europe and archaeological excavations made clear that at least in the Netherlands it was represented among all layers of 18th c. society. It also was the subject of collecting among the European upper classes, initially for cabinets of curiosities, later for porcelain rooms where an abundance of objects with a great variety of shapes, colors and decorations was presented, thus enhancing the taste and status of their owner.

A wonderful, well-documented early 18th c. porcelain collection is that of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland (1670-1733). It was a large collection: when he died he owned about 25,000 pieces of Chinese and Japanese porcelain. Only one-third survived and is preserved in the Zwinger in Dresden, Germany. It still is a collection of great importance because the objects can be matched with their descriptions in the contemporary inventories that have been preserved. These inventories also give information where Augustus acquired his porcelain, the prices he paid, and how he used it. This correlation is possible because the number that each piece was given on arrival was engraved or painted on the base. We therefore have a corpus of porcelain that is undisputedly genuine and reflects the taste, the appreciation and the variety of porcelain at the time.

However, the collection also is important because it stood at the basis of the invention and development of the first true Western porcelain in Meissen, near Dresden, in which Augustus had heavily invested. In his 'Japanese Palace' in Dresden he intended to combine the Asian and the Meissen porcelains, but his plans were never realized.

At present, a cataloguing project is on its way to produce a modern, digital catalogue in English of each and every piece of the remaining Asian porcelain collection of Augustus the Strong. Thanks to the Bei Shan Tang Foundation and others, all objects have been photographed and all relevant inventory entries transcribed and translated. An international team of 30 specialists is now writing new entries and Christiaan J?rg, academic supervisor of the project, will present the latest discoveries of his colleagues at the symposium.

瓷器與絲綢和茶葉一樣,都是由中國外銷至世界的商品,他們都極富異國風情和身份象徵,在亞洲市場始終需求龐大,並且16世紀之後的西方世界也紅極一時。對歐洲人而言,瓷器上的裝飾通常是他們對非西方文化的第一印象,激發他們對整個世界和文化奇觀的嚮往。

茶葉和絲綢很快會變質,但瓷器即使有缺損也有近乎永恆的生命,因此通常被視為物質文化中早期全球化的最佳例子。瓷器在西方世界很有影響力,是西方室內設計的新元素,亦在1700年左右成為改變歐洲飲食習慣的核心,對之後於18世紀盛行的中國風影響深遠。

瓷器在歐洲的廣泛應用及各考古發現清楚顯示,瓷器於18世紀影響著荷蘭社會的各個層面。另外,歐洲上層階級亦收藏瓷器,起初作為奇珍櫃的陳列品,之後則設立瓷器室,展示數量巨大、不同形狀、顏色和裝飾的瓷器收藏,以顯示擁有者的品味和地位。

奧古斯特二世(1670-1733)為薩克森選帝侯及波蘭國王,在18世紀早期擁有豐富和完整記錄的瓷器收藏,逝世時擁有接近25,000件中國和日本瓷器。由於這些瓷器可以與當代藏品目錄的描述配對,記載奧古斯特二世在哪裏得到這些瓷器,購買價格和怎樣使用它們。所以,雖然只有三分之一的瓷器避過戰火而存於在德國德累斯頓的茨溫格宮,但它們仍然是非常重要的藏品。這種難能可貴的對應關係之所以存在,是因為每件藏品到來時,底部都被銘刻或繪畫了一個數字。由此可見,我們的瓷器藏品庫能夠原汁原味地反映一個時代的關於瓷器的品味、鑑藏和繁多的種類。

此外,這些瓷器藏品亦標誌著邁森首批真正西方瓷器的發明和發展。邁森位於德累斯頓附近,奧古斯特二世當時大力支持邁森瓷器製造作坊發展,甚至打算在德累斯頓的「日本皇宮」將邁森瓷器與亞洲瓷器一同展示,但這個計劃從未實現。

現時,我們正在進行一個圖錄整理項目,建立英文版本的現代數字化圖錄,記錄奧古斯特二世遺留的每件亞洲瓷器藏品。承蒙北山堂基金和其他機構的支持,所有藏品已經拍照紀錄,所有相關的目錄條目亦已謄寫並翻譯。30名各國專家正在撰寫新條目,作為此項目的學術指導,我在論壇將展示項目成員的最新發現。