A selection of ceramics through the ages (5 second delay) Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology The Collections:
PotWeb: Ceramics online
@ the Ashmolean Museum
Early Europe & Near East
Classical to Medieval
Europe from 1500
Oriental & Islamic

Japanese Export Porcelain in the Ashmolean Museum

The Background to Japanese Export Porcelain

The Japanese export porcelain trade spans a relatively short period from 1659 to about 1740 AD. Several factors drove its development:
  • The temporary demise of the Chinese export porcelain industry 1650-1680
  • The closure of Japan to the outside world in 1639 except for Dutch and Chinese merchants
  • The rapid development of a fledgling porcelain production in Arita
  • The dominance of the Dutch East India Company in the Far East
  • The vogue for chinoiserie in Europe

However, eventually other factors led to the decline of the export trade:

  • The refurbishment of the pottery industry in Jingdezhen in China by the Qing dynasty
  • The switch back to trading with China by the Dutch because Chinese porcelain was cheaper
  • The rise in porcelain production in Europe and its ability to effectively imitate Far Eastern wares at lower cost


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