blue and white porcelain, teapot, laura childs
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The Tea House Times Guest Blog featuring LAURA CHILDS

August 2015 Posts

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A Love Affair with Blue and White Porcelain by Laura Childs

Sunday, August 30th 2015 @ 10:22 PM

In the early half of the 14th century, the Chinese began importing cobalt over the Silk Road from Persia. This precious commodity was valued at twice that of gold. And when it was combined with the translucent white quality of traditional Chinese porcelain, yielded a new type of elegant blue and white porcelain that had never been seen before. Emperors demanded it. By the early 1600’s foreign traders coveted it.

 

Dutch sailing ships packed to the gills with blue and white porcelain brought it to the shores of Europe, igniting what was soon called porcelain mania. As more and more trading ships ventured to China, the blue and white porcelains were stored at the lowest level, often used as ballast, while the more expensive tea was stored above. An enduring love affair with the lovely blue and white patterns had begun, with European factories like Meissen, Delftware and Royal Stafford quickly creating their own versions of Chinese blue and white.

 

Blue and white tea ware is still wildly popular today.  And, most recently, the fashion house Valentino incorporated traditional blue and white patterns into their couture. Surely a testament to the fact that classic design will always endure!


 ~ Laura Childs

 

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LAURA CHILDS is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys traveling, and has two Shar-Peis. See LauraChilds.com

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