Chinese Blue and White

The art of pottery is one of the earliest human practices, and few other cultures have demonstrated more innovation, craftsmanship and design in this art form than the Chinese. Although there is evidence of pottery being produced in China for around 20,000 years, one of the most important periods for pottery was the Chinese Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Perhaps the most recognisable style from this time is the blue and white pattern, which commonly decorated plates, bowls, vases, jars and other homewares; today, these items can sell for tens of millions at auction. This pattern continued to be produced under subsequent Chinese dynasties, and were imitated worldwide from Japan to France. In 2011, an early Ming Meiping vase in this blue and white pattern sold for $21.6 million at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong.