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Leaping the Dragon Gate

The Sir Michael Butler Collection of Seventeenth-Century Chinese Porcelain

A catalog raisonné of the world’s most complete collection of seventeenth-century Chinese porcelain.

With six hundred stunning full-color illustrations, this book celebrates the most important collection of seventeenth-century Chinese porcelain in the world, assembled by the distinguished British diplomat Sir Michael Butler (1927–2013). Butler’s lavish collection covers most types of porcelain produced at Jingdezhen, in Jiangxi province, during the seventeenth century. 

This comprehensive volume features nearly all of the pieces in the collection, presented in sections featuring the main categories of porcelains in the collection: Late Ming, High Transitional, Shunzhi, Early Kangxi, Mid-Late Kangxi, Monochromes, and Famille Verte, as well as disputed pieces. An introduction by Katharine Butler tells the fascinating story of the circumstances that encouraged her father to acquire, collect, and passionately study Chinese porcelain of the seventeenth century; how he found rare pieces with dates, interesting inscriptions, seal marks, or narrative scenes; and how the collection and his scholarly publications came to be internationally renowned.

544 pages | 600 color plates | 9 3/4 x 11 3/4

Chinese and English Text

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"One must salute the range, breadth, and aspiration of the book, which will surely stand as a standard reference work for years to come, as well as a recognition of one man's contribution to the field."


"Expertly researched and generously illustrated....Books such as this provide a firm, scholarly basis for our future understanding of this specialist field of ceramic history, affirming the place of the Butler Collection in the global history of collecting Chinese ceramics."

The Burlington Magazine

"This book is beautifully produced, lavishly illustrated with photographs of a high standard, and is fully bilingual in English and Chinese."

Arts of Asia

"[Dizzyingly] ambitious, this exceptional book is beyond seminal–a collectors piece in its own right. It is an epic reference tool for art historians and archaeologists seeking to understand the evolution of shapes and decoration that often endured over time and re-emerged in flattery of former periods."

Wreck Watch

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