Although fine porcelain plates, bowls, and vases have been collected for hundreds of years by Asian and European royalty and people of wealth, collecting limited edition pieces and sets has become a worldwide phenomenon today that has ballooned into a booming industry.
Fine porcelain is said to have been first produced in China around the year 600 A.D. by using specific kiln and glazing techniques and a special ingredient called pure kaolin clay.
For hundreds of years, the Chinese dominated the market in the production of fine porcelain ware because others could not duplicate their techniques.
But in the early 1700's, a German potter named Johann Bottger duplicated the Chinese process and with the discovery of kaolin clay near the town of Meissen, Europeans began the production of porcelain ware and mastered the process.
The Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufactory was started in Meissen in 1710 and began producing porcelain that rivaled or surpassed the Chinese version.
After training master potters and opening factories all over Europe, fine porcelain was produced in large quantities and prices dropped making porcelain ware more affordable for the average person.
Over the last 100 years or so, fine plates, bowls, and vases, both porcelain and ceramic, have moved into the forefront of collectible items for the average collector.
Collectors prize plates and other porcelain ware for their intricate patterns and designs, beautiful artwork, and diverse themes.
Limited edition series are used to commemorate events in history, historical and other well known personalities, holidays, nature and natural events and they are displayed for show in homes as well as in museums and other venues.
There are romantic series and collections, animal, birds, and flower collections, religious collections, trains, cars, boats, and airplane collections, fairy tale collections, and each year, the intricate designs and beautiful artwork becomes more and more in demand.
Collectible plates and other porcelain ware can be purchased at gift shops, antique shops, department stores, conventions, auctions, art shows, and from public and private dealers and other businesses.
Membership in a collector's club is a popular and fun way to learn about collecting plates and other porcelain products and being around other porcelain collectors makes collecting a very enjoyable experience.
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