Dating blue ridge pottery
The origin of this decorative style is thought to lie in Iraq, when craftsmen in Basra sought to imitate imported white Chinese stoneware with their own tin-glazed, white pottery and added decorative motifs in blue glazes.
Later, in China, a style of decoration based on sinuous plant forms spreading across the object was perfected and most commonly used.
The cobalt pigment is one of the very few that can withstand the highest firing temperatures that are required, in particular for porcelain, which partly accounts for its long-lasting popularity.
In the early 20th century, the development of the classic blue and white Jingdezhen ware porcelain was dated to the early Ming period, but consensus now agrees that these wares began to be made around 1300-1320, and were fully developed by the mid-century, as shown by the David Vases dated 1351, which are cornerstones for this chronology.
Blue and white decoration first became widely used in Chinese porcelain in the 14th century, after the cobalt pigment for the blue began to be imported from Persia.
It was widely exported, and inspired imitative wares in Islamic ceramics, and in Japan, and later European tin-glazed earthenware such as Delftware and after the techniques were discovered in the 18th century, European porcelain.
In the 1640s, rebellions in China and wars between the Ming dynasty and the Manchus damaged many kilns, and in 1656–1684 the new Qing dynasty government stopped trade by closing its ports.
Chinese exports almost ceased and other sources were needed to fulfill the continuing Eurasian demand for blue and white.