I have always been very taken by blue and white porcelain as I grew up in a home full of it. My first encounter with Chinese export porcelain was at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. An armorial plate from their collection caught my eye as the Swedish coat of arms had ‘clouds’ against it. Scholars theorized that the drawing of the coat of arms had smeared enroute to China resulting in the smoky effect which was dutifully copied by the Chinese porcelain painters onto ware commissioned by Count Frederik Gyllenborg (1698 - 1759).
The export of blue and white porcelain has immensely aided the development and spread of Chinese culture, though the decorative style is thought to have originated in Iraq, the Chinese craftsmen perfected the style and made it distinctly their own. With the import of cobalt pigment from Persia, blue and white porcelain was widely used in China since the 14th century and widely exported from the 16th century. The decorative style inspired imitative wares in Islamic ceramics, and in Japan, and later European tin-glazed earthenware such as Delftware and after the techniques were discovered in the 18th century, European porcelain.
Identifier: Unique reference identifier for the object, extracted from the metadata of each museum
Title: Title of the object
Coverage: I renamed this element ‘Place Made’ to state the geographic location in which the object was created, using the controlled vocabulary Getty: The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
Spatial Coverage: I renamed this element ‘Culture’ to signify the culture or geographic location in which the object was created or commissioned for, using the controlled vocabulary Getty: The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
Date: Date in which the object was created
Medium: Medium or materials used to create the object, using the controlled vocabulary Getty: The Art & Architecture Thesaurus. To also include the object's dimensions, I added an extra medium field for each.
Creator: Creator responsible for the creation of the object, though all unknown or not specified, using the controlled vocabulary Getty: The Union List of Artist Names
Description: Description or account of the object, extracted from the metadata of each museum. Where there were inscriptions or markings, I added an extra description field to include it.
Subject: Topics raised by the object, using the controlled vocabulary Library of Congress: Subject Headings
Publisher: I renamed this element ‘From The Collection Of’ for the easier reference of beginners to the field
Rights: Copyright status of the object