Eva Ströber


Porcelain for a Globalised Trade


240 pages
24 x 29 cm, 180 colour illustrations. Hardback with dust jacket.

 58,00 incl. VAT

ISBN 978-3-89790-389-0 Category:


With around 120 items from the rich and unique collection of the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, this publication unveils the myth of glorious Ming porcelain, presenting numerous porcelain pieces in both their historical and cultural contexts: finest porcelain not only for the imperial court but also for a globalised market – for both the South East Asian archipelage and for the West, the Netherlands of the Golden Age.

The Ming Dynasty, which spanned nearly 300 years (1368-1644), is regarded as one of the most glorious in Chinese history – especially as regards porcelain. ‘Ming’ denotes the finest and most precious porcelain, which regularly achieves astronomical prices at auctions. The ‘Ming vase’ is a popular cliché even for those who are not familiar with the history of Chinese ceramics.

This publication unveils the ‘Ming myth’, by presenting the internationally recognised collection of Chinese ceramics at the Keramiekmuseum Princessehof in Leeuwarden in the Netherlands. It comprises spectacular items of the highest quality, which were created exclusively for the Chinese imperial court. The rich and varied inventory of Chinese export ceramics for the Southeast Asian market, primarily from the former Dutch colony of Indonesia, is presented here in context for the first time. The founding of the Dutch East India Company VOC 1602 also finally opened up the European market for Ming porcelain. Especially the blue and white Kraak porcelain was an exotic decorative luxury in wealthy households and features prominently in Dutch still lifes of that era.

The collection of Ming porcelain at Museum Princessehof is uniquely wide-ranging. It comprises the whole spectrum of imperial objects, along with so-called Martaban – large domestic storage jars, which were also considered status symbols in Indonesia – and Kraak porcelain. Impressive items of export porcelain destined for Europe were salvaged from the holds of two shipwrecks, the Witte Leeuw and the Hatcher Cargo, which sank in 1613 and 1643 respectively.


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