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Exquisite Chinese porcelains
During the reign of Louis XIV, courtiers appreciated Chinese porcelain and lacquerware. Created by Colbert in 1664, the French East India Company was given a monopoly by the king on French trade in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Company imported porcelain and gouache silks that were soon copied by craftsmen in Lyon. In 1709, a German alchemist, Johann Friedrich Böttger, discovered the formula for hard porcelain and identified a deposit of kaolin in Saxony. It was not until 1767 in France that the first hard porcelain made from Limousin kaolin came out of the kilns of the Manufacture de Sèvres.
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