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Garniture of Three Vases

Unknown1700–1750

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Japanese craftsmen made vases such as this set for the European market, and Europeans eagerly collected them from the 1600s through the 1800s. Many European princes and nobles amassed large collections of Chinese and Japanese ceramics, which they installed in rooms known as "China cabinets." There, porcelains decorated entire walls, with vases, plates, and cups set on brackets or overmantels, in cabinets, and along shelves or even the floor.

For centuries, Europeans considered Chinese and Japanese porcelain an exotic and rare material that only the rich could afford. Europeans finally discovered the formula and ingredients for "true" or hard-paste porcelain in the first decade of the 1700s.

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