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Japanese Export Porcelain in the Ashmolean Museum
The Background to Japanese Export PorcelainImportation Into Europe
Dutch East India Company had a Far Eastern trading post or Factory in Batavia
(Jakarta) on the island of Java. It held there all the goods to be distributed
to the countries of Asia and Europe. In respect of ceramics, there was an
official trade, which meant that goods imported through the Company into
Holland were not taxed, and there was a parallel private trade, where products
could be imported but taxed. Also there was an illegal trade when goods
were smuggled into the country.
The Chinese were keen to trade porcelain from Japan when Jingdezhen failed to satisfy their home market and they also were able to trade Japanese export ware to South East Asia and with the English, Portuguese, Spanish, etc. who were prohibited from trading directly with Japan.
Thus Japanese export porcelain could reach European countries by various routes. Oliver Impey suggests that it is likely that the Dutch transported mostly the Imari type wares, since these were probably closest to the European taste. The Kakiemon designs were more to the Oriental taste and it is possible that these reached Europe largely through the Chinese trade.
|Evolution of Porcelain production||Background||Types of Export Porcelain|
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Copyright University of Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, 2004
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last updated: jcm/2-feb-2004