The famous collection shows the evolution of styles from the Late Ming, into the Transitional Period when Imperial oversight of the production was withdrawn, and then into the Kangxi style of the second Qing emperor who died in 1722. This collection covers most types of porcelain produced at Jingdezhen, in Jiangxi province, during the 17th century. The variety of the pieces carefully acquired by Sir Michael reflects the great innovative spirit of the highly skilled Jingdezhen potters and painters at a time when they were released from the controls of Imperial patronage, between the end of the reign of the Ming Emperor Wanli in 1620 and the re–establishment of the Imperial kilns by the Qing Emperor Kangxi in 1683.
It is an important study collection unrivalled in its breadth and rarity. The sheer number of pieces illustrates the extraordinary variety and innovations of this unique period when potters and painters experimented with new shapes, decorations, narrative scenes and glazes.