The technique of enamelling on metal was originally introduced to the Chinese craftsmen in the Guangzhou area by French Jesuit missionaries in 1684 following the lifting of restrictions at ports. Being a port city, these artisans were the first to be exposed to wares from Europe and developed the skills in creating such wares. Enamoured by the range of vivid and pastel tones of the imported and tributary wares, the Kangxi Emperor recruited enamel artisans from Guangzhou and Jesuit missionaries to work in the Palace and advance the proficiency of the Enamel Workshop.
Compare a yellow-ground box of this shape with similar decoration, with a Kangxi mark and of the period, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Enamel Ware in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Taipei, 1999, pl. 83, together with a Kangxi five-lobed box with similar lotus blooms on a white ground, pl. 82. A bowl decorated with a similar design of lotus blooms in a similar palette to the present is also included ibid., pl. 79.
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