Blue and White

Blue and white have a long and rich history in the decorative arts, particularly in pottery and porcelain production. Ceramics are known for their striking and timeless beauty, and they have been used in various styles and techniques in different regions and time periods, including in Kangxi-era porcelain from China, Delftware from the Netherlands, bone china from England, and Chantilly porcelain in France.

Pair of 18th Century Delft Pottery Blue and White Plates
Pair of 18th Century Delft Pottery Blue and White Plates.

Kangxi-era porcelain from China: During the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) of the Qing Dynasty in China, blue and white porcelain reached its peak in popularity. The Kangxi period is considered a golden age for Chinese porcelain production, and porcelain from this era is highly prized by collectors worldwide. Kangxi-era blue and white porcelain typically features intricate and detailed designs, often depicting traditional Chinese motifs such as dragons, flowers, and landscapes. The blue pigment used in Kangxi-era  porcelain is known as “underglaze blue,” as it is applied to the ceramic before the glaze is fired, resulting in a distinct and vibrant blue colour.

Delftware from the Netherlands: Delftware, also known as Delft pottery, is a type of earthenware produced in the Dutch town of Delft during the 17th and 18th centuries. Delftware is known for its blue and white colour palette, which was influenced by the Chinese porcelain that was imported to the Netherlands during the 17th century. Delftware typically features hand-painted blue designs on a white background, often depicting scenes such as landscapes, animals, and floral motifs. Delftware became popular among the Dutch upper class and was exported to other countries, making it a significant part of European ceramic history.

Bone china from 18th century England: Bone china is a type of porcelain that was developed in England during the 18th century and is known for its translucency, strength, and delicate appearance. Blue & white bone china became particularly popular during this period, with manufacturers in England and France producing exquisite pieces adorned with blue and white designs. English bone china factories such as Worcester, Spode, and Wedgwood, produced fine bone china wares featuring intricate blue & white patterns, often depicting floral motifs, classical scenes, and geometric designs.

The use of blue & white colour palette in the decorative arts, pottery, and porcelain production during the 18th century in England and Europe was influenced by the popularity of Chinese blue and white porcelain, and it became a significant trend in European ceramics. The timeless and enduring beauty of blue and white designs continues to captivate collectors and enthusiasts around the world.


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