The Qing Dynasty was the last of the Chinese ruling dynasties and lasted from 1644-1912, after which the country became a republic. Creatively, the Qing dynasty was a productive time and it was during this period that Oriental styles really captured the British public’s imagination.
Ceramics were the most popular type of Chinese export, although enamelled Cloisonné wares, furniture and textiles also featured. Porcelain production reached new levels of refinement although quality did begin to decline towards the end of the Qing period and this was the time when the Chinese began to master the art of reproduction, producing quite accomplished copies of much more valuable blue and white ceramic wares from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
Styles of ceramic decoration that originated during this time include Famille Verte and Famille Rose as well as much other fine porcelain (both tableware and decorative wares).
One popular type of furniture export was lacquered furniture, which was decorated with Oriental patterns and lacquered using resin from the Lacquer Tree, which is only found in China, Japan and Korea. British furniture manufacturers did not have access to this resin but soon developed an alternative to enable them to ape this popular style of furniture decoration. This imitation lacquer was known as japanning.