Did you know that the beautiful blue and white porcelain works that the Chinese made popular actually originated in the middle east? Well of course the Chinese perfected it, but the cobalt blue that was used was actually mined in central Iran and then eventually shipped to China. The technique was fully developed in the 14th Century, when mass production began. They are often referred to as Ming Vases because they were mostly produced during the Ming Dynasty from 1368-1644. Names such as Xuande, Jiajing and Wanli refer to the Emperors who ruled during the period they were created. Earlier pieces include pictorials of dragons, cranes and lotus flowers, while later on when exports to Europe began, pictorials were of chinese scenery.
And if you are wondering what it would look like to wear one of these extravagant prints. Roberto Cavalli translated one on to silk in 2005, for this stunner of a gown.
Vases from Christie's, Gown from Style.com