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Underglaze Blue and White
Underglaze Blue and White decoration was begun in China due to a shift in taste, during the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). Among the first pieces decorated in Blue and White was large dishes made for Arab tradesmen in Persia, who also supplied the cobalt oxide needed for the decoration. During the following Ming dynasty (1368-1644) blue and white decoration developed and grew in fame. The first Europeans to import Chinese porcelain and even to have it made to their own specifications were the Portuguese in the 16th century, closely followed by the Dutch and the British in the early 17th century. With the advent of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) the western export took a great leap with a greatly expanded trade, which led to the introduction of as numerous as baffling shapes, colors as well as decorations both within China as on the export markets. Most famous of all export patterns was the Willow Pattern which was developed in an exchange of ideas between China and England. From the 19th century and onwards most blue and white Chinese porcelain were made for the Asian markets and in Chinese taste.
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