Blanc de Chine (Dehua porcelain)

What is Blanc de Chine or Dehua porcelain?

Blanc de Chine is French for "white from China". It got this name because the figurines are made of milky white porcelain. They are statues of religious figures from Buddhism and Taoism. They are often designed in great detail and usually have a calm, elegant attitude.

Dehua porcelain refers to the area where the figurines come from. Dehua is a district in Fujian Province in southern China. This area is rich in kaolin, a white clay used for porcelain. This is also the reason why a lot of pottery is made in this area.

blanc de chine immortal

From past to present

Blanc de Chine figurines have been made since the late Song Dynasty (960-1279), but became popular during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Chinese artisans still make the figurines today and still use traditional techniques. However, production has decreased compared to before. The figurines are made for both religious and decorative purposes.

Blanc de Chine immortal


Eight Immortals (Taoism)
Dehua porcelain figures often represent the Eight Immortals (xian) from Taoism. These are beings with supernatural powers, who do not die. They have a connection with the heavenly realms.

Blanc de Chine monk

Each immortal possesses a unique power that can be channeled into a sacred vessel (法器 or fǎqì. The sacred vessel acts as a spiritual instrument through which the immortal can direct and control his power. These powers often create life or vanquish evil.

The powers they can share often have to do with blessings, protection, wisdom, happiness or health.

Blanc de Chine immortal on a goat
Guanyin (Buddhism)

You also often see the Guanyin (觀音). The Guanyin (also written Guan Yin) is a bodhisattva associated with comfort, mercy and compassion. Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who slow down their own path to nirvana to help beings on earth achieve this path as well. The Guanyin is an important figure in Chinese Buddhism and she is worshiped by people in times of fear or uncertainty.

In addition to these religious figures, utensils are also made from Dehua porcelain, such as bowls, teapots and incense holders. We will not discuss this further in this article.

Blanc de Chine laughing buddha

Stamps and collectors

Collectors of these figurines often pay attention to the stamps on the back. There are a number of reasons for this.

Certain marks are associated with specific periods, dynasties or famous kilns, allowing collectors and experts to identify and date the piece. This can help them find out whether the piece is authentic and of good quality, or where exactly it came from.

Usually a craftsman uses his personal stamp, which allows you to see who made the statue. If you can find out this information, it can increase the value of the statue.

Rootz Gallery collection

Rootz Gallery has an extensive collection of Blanc de Chine figurines. The images you see in this article are just a selection from our collection. Are you looking for a specific statue, or would you like to know more? Please feel free to send us a message (telephone/Whatsapp +31 6 55834611 or ).
Blanc de Chine immortal meditating
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