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Famille noire

Meaning the "black family". This is famille verte but with a black background. Most extant examples are fakes. The best fakes have the black enamel added on real Kangxi pieces in the early 20th century. As a general rule genuine famille noire pieces felt to have been made in the Kangxi reign (1662-1722) have the black color achieved by applying a copper-green lead based enamel over an unfired coating of the dry black cobalt which are also used for black outlines. During the firing the two enamels fused resulting in a deep black effect with a hint of green especially visibly where the two layers doesn't fully cover each other. The general view is also that all pieces where the black is not made up by two layers like this, are later.

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