When people think of Asian decorative arts, they most often think of what is known as Chinese export porcelain, wares produced specifically for a vast and eager audience outside of China. While foreign accessibility to trade within China ebbed and flowed for centuries, Chinese export porcelain was always immensely popular with Europeans (and, later, Colonial Americans) and immensely important to the Chinese economy.
From its earliest iterations for European royalty (including examples of the Portuguese royal arms painted upside down due to the unfamiliarity of their audience) in about 1500 to the steadily more utilitarian pieces for everyday use in middle class households through the late 18th century, Chinese export porcelain has now reached a level of nostalgia in the West and has become highly desirable, ironically, within China.
Western provenance is now often the foremost factor in the value and authenticity of Chinese antiques coming to auction, with bidding led by Chinese nationals. While a common theme among Millennials in the United States is the marked apathy toward collecting generally anything, but specifically, antiques, young Chinese collectors are at the forefront of the Asian antique market. One theory is that it's a form of repatriation or newfound appreciation as a result of the Chinese Revolution of the 1960s, which saw the destruction and purging of thousands of years of the country's history and artifacts in an effort to abandon old ways of thinking, and has in turn led to an abundance of forgeries within China.
It is not surprising that these items are experiencing yet another surge of popularity in a distant corner of the world; few wares have enjoyed such widespread esteem that Chinese export porcelain holds, and has held for centuries. Even large focal point pieces were designed (ironically, by people who had never seen the types of homes they would be adorning) to fit seamlessly into any decor, thus making it a truly timeless style.
To view this blog with additional photos, decor and furniture we have available click here!
Interested in reading our previous blogs? Click here!