European interest for porcelain was ignited in the early 1600’s, when two Portuguese carracks were captured and their cargos, including thousands of porcelain items, were sold at auction to the English and French upper class. As a result of this new interest, a number of European nations established trading companies with the countries of East Asia. The most significant of these companies, the Dutch East India Company, carried over 30 million pieces of Chinese and Japanese export porcelain between 1602 and 1682.
Chinese export porcelain varied from those made for domestic sale both in style and strength. To allow for the stresses of transport, export pieces were usually thick and “rather roughly-finished”, especially in the early trading periods. Additionally, the glazed design of these items would be more general and decorative whereas those for domestic sale would picture motifs of symbolic significance.
This earring set recalls a simple floral design of Chinese export porcelain on ½” flat beads, with matching small blue spacer bead accents.