Beginning in the sixteenth century when Portuguese traders started importing blue and white porcelain to Europe, Chinese ceramics manufacturers produced goods specifically for export to the West. This industry flourished through the early 20th century as the market for fine porcelain expanded in Europe and North America. Among the Peabody Essex Museum's founders in 1799 were sea captains and supercargoes involved in extensive trade with Asia; they brought back remarkable examples of export wares, providing a foundation for the museum's world-renowned collection of Chinese export ceramics. Written by William R. Sargent, one of the field's leading experts, Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics is one of the most authoritative sources on this topic. The book features scholarly entries on more than 275 objects, dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth century and divided by type of ware. A glossary of ceramics terminology makes this an invaluable resource for even a novice collector. The commentary, including an essay by Rose Kerr, offers new perspectives on the artistic, historical, and social dimensions of export ceramics.
William R. Sargent is the former H. A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art at the Peabody Essex Museum.
Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics was awarded the 2013 American Ceramic Circle Book Award Winner.