It was not until the 16thC, when the Portuguese transported limited amounts of made-to order wares from Macao to Lisbon that the Western market for Chinese porcelain had its first real beginnings. Chinese porcelain is a translucent, hard, resonant and impervious substance that was soon coveted by the Europeans for both its aesthetic allure and its practical value.
Although spices, teas and silks remained the principal export commodities, more than sixty million pieces of porcelain were shipped to Europe during the 18thC. The dominance of the English traders remained strong until the middle of the 18thC when the Americans arrived in Guangzhou.
The exchange between East and West was to have a deep seated market driven artistic collaboration that had profound consequences in the art and design of the porcelain that was ultimately produced for the American market; still highly sought after today. c1713-1890