The popularity of Jingdezhen pottery brought revenues and expertise which provided a platform for innovation. Workshops experimented with new glazes and a classic range of decorative styles emerged: qinghua, blue and white; jihong, rainbow; doucai, a blue-and-white overglaze; and fencai, multicoloured famille rose. The first examples reached Europe in the seventeenth century and became so popular that the English word for China clay – kaolin – derives from its source nearby at Gaoling. Factories began to specialize in export ware designed for Europe and Chinese colonies throughout Southeast Asia, which reached the outside world via the booming Canton markets: the famous Nanking Cargo, comprising 150,000 pieces salvaged from the 1752 wreck of the Dutch vessel Geldermalsen and auctioned for US$15 million in 1986, was one such shipment. Foreign sales petered out after European production technologies improved at the end of the eighteenth century, but Jingdezhen survived by sacrificing innovation for cheaper manufacturing processes, and more recently has reinvented itself as a centre of ceramic study and research.

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