Along with the green enamels utilised on Famille Verte porcelain, pink enamels were one of the major technological developments of the Qing dynasty, with the finest examples produced during the Yongzheng period (1722-35).
Although the term 'Famille Rose' is most commonly used to refer to this ware in English, it was only coined by Albert Jacquemart in 1862. Chinese terminology used is more specific:
1) Falangcai (珐琅彩) translates to 'enamel colours' and was originally used to refer to overglaze enamel porcelain produced at the Imperial kilns in Beijing. As they were exclusively made for consumption at the palace, there are very limited examples. However, the term can also be used to refer to enamel items produced elsewhere.
2) Yangcai (洋彩) translates to 'foreign colours' and generally refers to porcelain with enamel colours produced in the kilns at Jingdezhen.
3) Fencai (粉彩) translates to 'powdery colours' and refers to the pastel shades of famille rose enamels. It is one of the most common Chinese terms used to refer to these wares.
4) Ruancai (軟彩 / 软彩) translates to 'soft colours' and specifically refers to famille rose wares produced during the Yongzheng period.
Unlike their green counterpart, Famille Rose enamels were opaque, reflecting a change in enamelling technology often attributed to the influence of European techniques introduced by Jesuits in the early eighteenth century.
- H.A. Crosby Forbes, 'Yang-t'ai: The Foreign Colours: Rose Porcelains of the Ch'ing Dynasty' (Milton, Massachusetts, 1982)
- David Sanctuary Howard, 'The Blossoming of Famille Rose', Oriental Art 44:2 (1988)
- George C. Williamson, 'The Book of Famille Rose' (Olympic: London, 1970)