Qing Famille Rose Porcelain, including reign marks and foot rims
A little history about the colors and origins.
In the Chinese language Famille Rose enamels are known as fencai (pale colors) or yangcai (foreign colors). The term Famille Rose came into common usage in the west after they were described that way by the French in reference to the soft Rose coloring made possible during the early Yonzheng period. Curiously the name wasn't actually applied to describe these porcelains until the 19th C..
The ability to produce these colors was originally made possible during the 17th C. by a German Doctor , Dr. Andreas Cassius while working with gold chloride was able to produce the first true pink enamel, made primarily for its application to glass in 1670.
- In other words Famille Rose was invented by a German, made famous by the Chinese and named by the French.
By 1716 *Matteo Ripa sent letters to Italy and wrote extensively about Emperor Kangxi's fascination with these new colors and had ordered his Imperial workshops to reproduce them as quickly as possible. It was however to little avail, today in the National Palace Museum exist only two known pieces from the Kangxi dynasty, both bearing the emperor's reign mark. One other example is in the David Collection and another was once in the collection of Edward Chou.
By the middle of Kangxi's son Yongzheng's reign however production of Qing Famille Rose Porcelain was well underway culminating in some of the finest examples ever produced to this day. This superb production continued following his death and into the first 15 years of his son's rule the Qianlong Emperor. After the mid 18th C. production continued, much of it superb, but never again of the quality done during it's first 35 or so years of use.
*Matteo Ripa, an Italian Catholic missionary sent to China to work as an engraver and artisan in the court of the Kangxi Emperor in 1711 until his departure in 1723.