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Chinese Bowls

Bowls, originally created for the purpose of holding foods, have been used by the Chinese for thousands of years. The Chinese made bowls out of mostly bronze or ceramic since the Neolithic times, and used them to serve noodles, rice, porridge, and tea. The practice of forming bowls and embellishing them with household scenes or traditional motifs is one that has not been diminished by time.

Having cultivated rice for at least three to four thousand years, Chinese culture has often been dubbed “rice-culture." One of the products of China’s dependence on rice as a staple is the rice bowl, which is usually no larger than the size of cupped hands, and is characterized by a very short round foot-rim at the bottom of the basin. Larger variations of this bowl are made for more liquid food such as porridge or soups.

Over time, bowls have been created for other uses besides food. Large ceramic fish bowls were most often made of porcelain and set on top of beautifully carved wooden stands. In ancient times, these bowls were used to hold goldfish. Now, they are predominantly used as decorative planters.


Quick Facts

  • The large ceramic fish bowls were not used in ancient times and a permanent location for fish. Fish were usually kept in ponds and transferred to a bowl in the case of visitors
  • Rice bowls are held traditionally with the thumb at the outermost edge of the bowl, with all other fingers supporting the bottom. The small foot is then useful to keep the bowl from scorching the hand if it is holding hot rice
  • Banpo, discovered in 1953, contains evidence of bowls that are dated between 4800-4300 B.C.

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Sellers Who Sell Chinese Bowls


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

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