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Pre Francois Xavier d'Entrecolles

Pére d'Entrecolles was a French Jesuit missionary who lived from 1664 to 1741. Two of his letters, the first written in 1712 and the second in 1722 were the first extensive account in a western language on the organization of the porcelain factories and the techniques used in the making of porcelain.

His letters provide a first-hand account of the manufacture of porcelain at Jingdezhen during the first quarter of the eighteenth century. They were written during a period where the porcelain export to the west gained momentum and the inventiveness in ceramics delivered to the new Chinese Qing dynasty court under the intelligent and demanding Kangxi (1662-1722) emperor knew no boundaries.

The two letters were translated from the French and published in William Burton's Porcelain, It's Art and Manufacture, B.T. Batsford, London, 1906. Letter 1 was translated by Robert Tichane, in Robert Tichane, Ching-te-chen. Views of a porcelain city (Painted Post, NY), 1983, pp. 55-111.

The first letter is dated 1st September, 1712 and was addressed to Pre Orry, procurer of the Chinese and Indian missions. It was written from Jaochow [Jao-chou]. The second letter is dated from Jingdezhen [Ching-t-chn] itself, on the 25th of January, 1722.

See: Selected Passages from the Letters of Pre d'Entrecolles, 1712 and 1722 (Pdf file)

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