In 1517, Portuguese merchants began direct trade by sea with the Ming Dynasty, and in 1598, Dutch merchants followed.
Some porcelains were more highly valued than others in imperial China.
The following section provides background information on the methods used to form, decorate, finish, glaze, and fire ceramic wares.
Unlike their lower-fired counterparts, porcelain wares do not need glazing to render them impermeable to liquids and for the most part are glazed for decorative purposes and to make them resistant to dirt and staining.
Some of the most well-known Chinese porcelain art styles arrived in Europe during this era, such as the coveted blue-and-white wares.