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Chinese Export Porcleain - Armorial and Special Designs
No other field presents such a fascinating blend of information on Chinese export wares, early western trade contacts with China, heraldry, taste, and social history of the 18th century than the study of the Armorial porcelain and some of the more unique special designs made for the Western market. Thanks to these special orders a firm chronology can be established for also the non-armorial export porcelains, through comparison with designs and decoration. Very often the prices paid for the special orders were tens of times higher than for the normal porcelain, new shapes were developed and the designs often drawn up in the west by the best designers of its time. Limitless efforts then went into the production of each and every piece to meet the exacting demands of the buyer who often got to wait several years for his order to arrive. Extra amusing for us today are the rare but confirmed mistakes that sometimes happened along the way such as the water stain that disfigured the coat of arm of the Swedish family of Gyllenborg, which carefully got reproduced on each and every pieces in their large and most probably very expensive porcelain service.
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