This piece is representative of fine blue wares that first appeared in Xuande Period of Ming Dynasty (1426-1435 AD). Out of his love for porcelain wares made in the past dynasties, Emporor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD) ordered that imitations of these wares were made. His mandate remained in force when his son Emperor Yongzhen ascended to the throne. The fine blue wares are commonly decorated with the pattern of 'twining Indian lotus', which was popular in Yongle Period of Ming Dynasty (1403-1424 AD). This is an excellent design for interior decoration worldwide.
Pottery was invented by the Chinese as early as 5,000 B.C. However, porcelain was not successfully made until the 10th century. It was even later in 13th century that blue and white porcelain wares first appeared. The pigment for blue and white porcelain is 'cobalt oxide'. It is an under-glaze. The outline of the embellishment is drawn with light and heavy blue lines and the color is washed to lighter shades to contrast the white porcelain. This treatment gives the designs both grace and beauty. Blue and white porcelain comes in many styles, and the designs used include the Indian lotus, human characters, flowers, fruit, dragons, phoenixes, birds, animals, and other patterns. The various emperors of Yuan, Ming, Qing dynasties loved the blue and white porcelain wares, and exquisite items were made by the official kilns for use by the emperors and their family members, and as gifts awarded to the nobility and accredited government officials. Blue and white porcelain wares were also very popular in Europe. From 17th century onwards, European merchants and the Dutch East India Company ordered from China blue and white porcelain wares which conformed with the Western culture and styles. These porcelain wares were sold in Europe and America for high profits. Nowadays these antique blue and white porcelain wares made in Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties are auctioned at very high prices. For example, a blue and white dragon moon flask (10-1/8" high), Yongle, Ming Dynasty was auctioned at the Sotheby's, Hong Kong in November 1986 for HK $7,150,000.00.