Antique and vintage blue and white porcelain



2015-06-26 11:14:33

Blue and white porcelain is a particularly popular type of porcelain decoration among collectors.

It is most commonly associated with porcelain produced in China and can be seen on a variety of items, including plates and vases.

Antique or vintage?

Porcelain items produced more than 100 years ago are classed as “antique” according to the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act’s definition.

“Vintage” refers to pieces manufactured within the last 100 years and can include items made as recently as the 1980s.


Blue and white porcelain is generally produced by the application of blue pigment, often cobalt oxide, to a piece of white porcelain.

The blue pigment is often used to create highly elaborate scenes or images, commonly by hand.

History of blue and white porcelain

The technique is thought to have first been employed in the Middle East and China in the 9th century.

Mass production began in China in the 14th century. The town of Jingdezhen was the epicentre of blue and white porcelain production.

China continued to be the at the forefront of production in the centuries that followed, although European pieces began to emerge in the 18th century, thanks in large part to the efforts of Francois Xavier d'Entrecolles, who brought Chinese techniques to France.

Notable sales of antique and vintage blue and white porcelain

  • A Jiaqing period blue and white ‘dragon’ double-gourd vase made $645,000 at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale in April 2008.

  • A blue and white ‘dragon and phoenix’ moon flask, from the Qianlong period, sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2005 for $4.4m.

  • A Xuande period blue and white ‘dragon’ brush washer achieved $3.6m at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction in October 2005.

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