The Chinese culture has captured the imagination of the Western world, being so distinctive in terms of its arts, food and language. Chinese decorative items, such as vases and figurines have long been popular in Europe as decorative accessories for displaying within the home, due to the ornate style and vibrant use of colour within their designs. The quality and price of Chinese objects vary greatly, yet their unique decorative style gives them an enduring exotic appeal.
The popularity of displaying Chinese objects within the home is as strong today as it was in the Victorian period, when the allure of Chinese culture first took hold in Europe. The Chinese dragon, in particular, is an enduring symbol from Chinese mythology, which commonly adorns decorative Chinese objects, but other motifs are also commonly represented, including animals and religious imagery. The Buddha is possibly the most recognisable figure of Chinese Buddhism, and is often displayed as a figure in the home or garden.
Chinese porcelain is particularly desirable with collectors, particularly antique porcelain vases dating from specific periods in Chinese history. These vases are renowned for their fine details and delicate floral designs. The most famous Chinese porcelain vases are the blue and white vases from the Yuan Dynasty, dating between 1271 and 1368, which feature a distinctive shade of cobalt blue in the design. Many modern Chinese copies of antique vases have been produced, so buyers should be able to identify the originals from the copies before purchasing.