China On A Plate

Lars Tharp explores the Chinese porcelain industry.



He visits Jingdezhen, the ancient porcelain capital of the world, where he finds an unexpected but familiar sight decorating one of the town's bridges.

Thomas Minton's 18th-century Willow Pattern has come full circle, back to the town whose designs provided its inspiration.

02 LAST20070914

From the historic manufacturing capital of Jingdezhen, he follows the 500-mile journey south taken by over a million pieces of porcelain each year during the 18th and 19th centuries to Canton, now the modern port of Guangzhou, from which the china was shipped to Europe.

Every piece of blue and white porcelain in British stately homes took that journey, and Lars marvels that so many arrived in one piece.