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Porcelain of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) Blue and White decoration developed and grew in fame. By the end of the Ming the first westerners had reached the shores of the Middle Kingdom and the man made porcelain jewels of the East got fitted in gold and silver and was stored in treasure cabinets of the European Royal palaces. While the best pieces were used as Royal gifts between Emperors also the common people in China had their own Blue and White porcelain – the min yao – or 'peoples ware' of great artistic interest. The porcelain development over the centuries closely mirrors the changes in society. Of special interest are the earliest western markets export wares, the 'Kraak' porcelain made for the Portuguese and later for the Dutch, market.
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