While there will always be various tastes and preferences in fine china, certain colors and patterns will always be classic. Blue and white china continues to be a top choice for kitchen and home décor, and has been for centuries.
In Neil MacGregor’s book, A History of the World in 100 Objects, the history of blue and white china is shared with, “Foreign rulers, the Mongols; foreign materials, Muslim blue; and foreign markets, Iran and Iraq – all played an essential, if paradoxical, part in the creation of what to many outside China is still the most Chinese of objects, blue and white porcelain.”
Blue and White China by Century:
In the early 14th century, upon the development of mass-production of blue and white porcelain of Chinese techniques and Islamic trade, the new china ware/style made possible by the export of cobalt from Persia.
Some blue and white wares of the 16th century were characterized by Islamic influences, such as the ware under the Zhengde Emperor (1506–1521), which sometimes bore Persian and Arabic script, due to the influence of Muslim eunuchs serving at his court.
During the 17th century, numerous blue and white pieces were made as export porcelain for the European markets. European symbols and scenes were increasingly combined with Chinese scenes and objects.
In the 18th century export porcelain continued to be produced for the European markets. As a result of the work of Francois Xavier d’Entrecolles, however, details of Chinese porcelain manufacture were transmitted to Europe.
By the beginning of the 17th century Chinese blue and white porcelain was being exported directly to Europe. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Oriental blue and white porcelain was highly prized in Europe and America and sometimes enhanced by fine silver and gold mounts.
Hand-painted and transfer-printed wares were made at Worcester and at other early English factories in a style known as Chinoiserie.
Here are some beautiful blue and white images:
Not everything is black and white!
*Sources include Wikipedia and A History of the World in 100 Objects.