Chinese porcelains are perfect for dining room displays. A nice Chinese vase makes a great accent piece, and a china cabinet can tie together a room with a bit of class. Porcelain with intricate patterns and colors gives a room some character, or at minimum provides a nice conversation piece. Savvy shoppers can put their knowledge of Chinese porcelains on display. However, not all pieces are well suited for all collectors. Price is a concern to most collectors, and different patterns fit better in different types of china collections. When jumping into the world of Chinese porcelain collecting, a new collector must know whether a specific piece fits in their casual dining room display or is better suited elsewhere.
Straight porcelain is high-end export porcelain from the Malaccan Peninsula, crafter during the end of the Qing Dynasty. It was custom made for upper class homes, so the value of straights porcelain is high in comparison to many other types of china. Straight porcelain is renowned for its patterns, inspired by clothing fashions of the time, but shapes of the pieces vary widely due to their custom created nature. For example, frilled edges and other features that are otherwise unusual on Chinese porcelain are common among pieces of straight porcelain.
Imperial Quality Export
In the 1760s, porcelain factories began to take root in Europe. These factories not only competed with Chinese porcelain producer's but did so more efficiently and quickly by making use of modern technology to mass transfer engravings onto European porcelain. To combat the mass production of porcelain, the Chinese began to create imperial quality export porcelain. Imperial quality export porcelain is what most people think of when imagining Chinese porcelain. Imperial quality export patterns are usually complex scenes painted in tones of blue, surrounded by intricate borders, which are also in blues.
The FitzHugh pattern is a signature Chinese porcelain pattern. It consists of four monochromatic flowers in a circle alongside four monochromatic dragons. In some rare cases, a coat of arms or something similar replaces the flowers and dragons. However, the style of the pattern of a FitzHugh piece is unmistakable, due to the intricate border that surrounds the top or outer edge of most pieces.
While shopped for FitzHugh porcelain online, doublecheck pieces against other known FitzHugh items before making a purchase. Because it is one of the most well-known patterns of Chinese porcelain, many imitation FitzHugh pieces exist, so a seller might sell a fake FitzHugh for a hefty sum without either party being aware that the piece is a counterfeit.
During the middle of the 18th century, the Japanese began exporting their own style of porcelains. The preferred Japanese pattern at the time was a five-color porcelain known as Imari. In China, as the Wung dynasty gave way to the Qing, Chinese artisans worked to find way to reclaim ground in their various trades, one of which being porcelain exports. Instead of creating new patterns to rival the Japanese Imari, the Chinese simply copied the style and created.
Chinese Imari is a collector's porcelain. Chinese Imari pieces are quite valuable, but not so much as to be out of the price range of many collectors. In addition, Chinese Imari is somewhat rare but appears to be common due to the large amount of Japanese Imari that flood some markets. As a result, owning a piece of Chinese Imari and being able to identify it as such is an important milestone for many porcelain collectors.
Around the same time that Chinese Imari took hold on Chinese porcelain exports, a new porcelain pattern began to show up here and there in Chinese exports. This new style was much more intricate than any porcelains at the time, and focused primarily on flowers of many colors. This sea change in style was likely due to the newly established Qing dynasty, which ushered softer and more varied colors into most aspect of Chinese fashion at the time.
Chinese Famille rose is an ideal porcelain for novice collectors. Famille rose porcelains are inexpensive compared to other porcelain patterns as well as being considerably more plentiful than other patterns. The low price, varied appearance, and intricate designs make famille rose a better fit for a casual china display than a high value collection.