We have been coming back to Hanoi for years now but this is the first time we have seen this type of Ceramics.
Said to have travelled along the silk road to some of the finest homes in many countries all over the world, these ceramics now reside in 46 museums of 32 countries and territories.
These ceramics as the name suggests originated in the village of Chu Dau in the province of Hai Duong in Vietnam around the 13th century under the Tran dynasty.
But it was only in the 14th to the 17th centuries when the ceramics gained prominence. Unhappily, the civil war between the Trinh and Mac dynasties stopped the production of these well appreciated treasures.
The Chu Dau ceramics were of 3 types: those for the ordinary people, ones for high ranking officials and the ones for royalty.
Interest in these ceramics came back when in 1980, Mr. Makoto Anabuki, First Secretary in the Japanese Embassy asked if he could find out more about the antique ceramic vase, Hoa Lam-Blue Flower, he saw exhibited in the Topkapi Saray Museum in Istanbul. This vase was autographed by the artist, Bui Thi Hy. This started the research into this antique ceramic.
Excavations were undertaken in the northern Vietnamese village of Chu Dau and they found thousands of ceramics and old kilns signifying that this place was engaged in pottery long before it was a busy trading hub.
The ceramics in spite of having been buried for long, still retained its distinctive colour and design. So, today studies are made in view of bringing back the authentic patterns, materials and ornaments used by the early potters.
My husband and I just happened to see the display in Hanoi, 2 Le Thai To, of Chu Dau ceramics. We were on our Sunday walk looking for a coffee place when the display caught our attention. Intrigued, we went in the store and got out with this, a memento of something we've come to appreciate.
Today, the village of Chu Dau can be visited from Hanoi. A day tour will take you to the village where you can see the old kilns and the excavated site.
If you love pottery, here's another popular village for this craft in Vietnam:
For those who love travel, here are some of my top recommendations of places to visit.
Click on the picture to know more of these places: