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Chrysanthemum dishes

On the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month of the year 1733 the Yongzheng Emperor (r. 172335) ordered Nian Xiyao (d. 1738), then supervisor of the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province, to make chrysanthemum-shaped dishes in twelve colours, one of each.

Nian is recorded to have delivered forty pieces of each colour. The range of enamel colours available for porcelains had been enlarged by the introduction of new pigments from Europe, and by experiments made at the glass workshops of the palace in Beijing and the porcelain workshops of Jingdezhen.

In order to fulfil the imperial order satisfactorily, the Jingdezhen kilns appear to have tried out an even greater range of colours, since chrysanthemum dishes are known in more than these twelve shades.

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