Beginning in the sixteenth century when Portuguese traders started importing blue and white porcelain to Europe, Chinese ceramics manufacturers produced goods specifically for export to the West. The industry flourished through the early twentieth century as the market for fine porcelain expanded in Europe and the Americas. Among the Peabody Essex Museum's founders in 1799 were sea captains and supercargoes involved in extensive trade with Asia, and many of the remarkable examples of export wares they brought back provided a foundation for the Museum's world-renowned collection of Chinese export ceramics.Written by William R. Sargent, a leading expert in the field, Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics is one of the most authoritative sources on this topic. Its scholarly entries on 287 representative objects that date from the fifteenth to the twentieth century are divided into sections by type of ware. Although these examples only hint at the Museum's vast holding, together they encompass its broad range of Chinese export ceramics. An essay on Jingdezhen, the "Porcelain City," by Rose Kerr, a glossary of ceramics terminology, and appendix on armorials, and an extensive bibliography all contribute to making this an invaluable resource.