Under the Qing dynasty, the imperial ceramic workshops in Jingdezhen produced huge numbers of porcelains for local and foreign markets. Depending on the period, strict official supervision blocked export production, while in more liberal times a number of high-quality products found their way to private Chinese and foreign collections through unofficial channels. They included elegant pieces with white crackled glaze sometimes adorned with moulded decor, as in this case. The dragon is a symbol of imperial power and one of the most characteristic motifs adorning decorative artefacts. It was highly praised by Western collectors.