Sea Folk Porcelain

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Author: Atarah al’Norahn


Sea Folk porcelain is exceptionally thin and fine; Rand notes that it is “as thin as leaves” (TSR, Ch. 2) or paper (LoC, Ch. 10). It is made by the Amayar, the non-seafaring people who live on the Sea Folk Islands (TPoD, Ch. 1; KoD, Glossary). Although Sea Folk porcelain is made in various colours, many of the pieces referenced in the series are yellow/gold and green.

Items made of Sea Folk porcelain are very expensive. Mat thinks that it is worth “its weight in silver” (TDR, Ch. 19), although Rand later notes that there are “bowls and vases of Sea Folk porcelain” in the Stone of Tear that are “worth many times their weight in gold” (KoD, Ch. 21). Because of its high cost, it is often seen as a mark of status. Other porcelain, no matter how fine, is generally viewed as inferior to that made by the Sea Folk. At one point, when Verin and Cadsuane have tea, Verin notes that she is using “a thin blue porcelain cup” which is “Not Sea Folk porcelain, but very fine” (WH, Ch. 25). Taraboner porcelain, while thin and expensive, does not match Sea Folk porcelain. Even when chipped, Sea Folk porcelain is notable and sometimes used to serve highly honoured guests (TDR, Ch. 42).

On their ships, the Atha’an Miere generally do not use Sea Folk porcelain. Elayne thinks that this is possibly because it is “Less likely to be broken in heavy weather” (TSR, Ch. 19).

Known Pieces of Sea Folk Porcelain

Numerous individual pieces of Sea Folk porcelain are referenced throughout the series, listed below. Note that pieces simply described as being of fine porcelain are not listed, but only pieces specifically described as being Sea Folk porcelain.

  • There are numerous pieces of Sea Folk porcelain in the White Tower. While Accepted, Moiraine and Siuan serve tea to Tamra Ospenya and Gitara Moroso in cups of green Sea Folk porcelain (NS, Ch. 2). In her sitting room in the Blue Ajah quarters, Eadyth displays “a tall vase of glistening yellow Sea Folk porcelain” (NS, Ch. 12) that she owns. While Mat is recovering in the White Tower, he is brought a meal served on Sea Folk porcelain, “two large silver pitchers and dishes of thin green” (TDR, Ch. 19). In Elaida’s office, there are four vases of white Sea Folk porcelain sitting on marble plinths, one in each corner of the room and each holding two dozen red roses (ACoS, Prologue). When Egwene serves dinner to Elaida and five Sitters in Elaida’s rooms, the table is set “with bright white Sea Folk porcelain” (TGS, Ch. 16).
  • The Stone of Tear boasts a number of pieces of Sea Folk porcelain. In Rand’s rooms, there is a pitcher and bowl of “golden Sea Folk porcelain, as thin as leaves.” Rand also notes that the room contains many other pieces of Sea Folk porcelain as well. At least some of these pieces are broken when Rand is attacked by a bubble of evil (TSR, Ch. 2). In the hallways, there are niches that hold bowls and vases made of Sea Folk porcelain (KoD, Ch. 21).
  • The Royal Palace in Caemlyn possesses many pieces of Sea Folk porcelain (TFoH, Ch. 1). Among them is a large vase of pale-green Sea Folk porcelain. At one point, a serving man accidentally drops the vase, but due to Rand’s ta’veren nature, it does not break (LoC, Ch. 10). In niches in the corridors, there are “tall vases of Sea Folk porcelain” (LoC, Ch. 41). There are also green cups (CoT, Ch. 12) and blue goblets of Sea Folk porcelain in the Palace (KoD, Ch. 17). In the formal sitting room, there is “a pair of golden Sea Folk porcelain bowls on one of the side tables” (CoT, Ch. 14).
  • The Wise Ones frequently drink from teacups made of Sea Folk porcelain. Aviendha brings tea to the Wise Ones in Rhuidean, along with “delicate cups of golden Sea Folk porcelain” (TFoH, Ch. 5). They also use green teacups while drinking with Berelain in Cairhien (LoC, Ch. 24), and in Tel’aran’rhiod, Bair imagines “tiny green cups of delicate Sea Folk porcelain” for them to drink tea from (ACoS, Ch. 10).
  • There are numerous pieces of Sea Folk porcelain in the Tarasin Palace in Ebou Dar. In the hallways, there are niches holding yellow or golden vases (LoC, Ch. 48; ACoS, Ch. 16). In Mat’s rooms in the palace, his pitcher and washbasin are made of red Sea Folk porcelain (ACoS, Ch. 28). When Tuon arrives at the palace, she is served wine in blue pitchers of Sea Folk porcelain (WH, Ch. 17). In Suroth’s rooms, there are several tables boasting red Sea Folk porcelain—“four vases and six bowls, a small fortune in themselves” (KoD, Prologue).
  • In the hallways of the Sun Palace in Cairhien, there are niches in the wall that hold pieces of Sea Folk porcelain (CoT, Prologue).
  • At Shiane’s house in Caemlyn, there are vases of Sea Folk porcelain. Daved Hanlon notes that it is “a room worth the looting” (CoT, Ch. 15).

Other References

  • Bael likens Arad Doman, in its broken state, to a “piece of Sea Folk porcelain dropped from the tip of a high mountain” (TGS, Ch. 7).