The very rare decoration of these vases shows us highly romanticized views of stages of Chinese porcelain manufacture that would have actually occurred not only in far humbler settings but also at wildly divergent times. Though Westerners had been aware of Jingdezhen, the vast industrial city 500 miles north of Canton where the smoke from hundreds of small kilns created near-permanent smog, since at least Père d'Entrecolles' visits around 1715, they clearly preferred this kind of idealized view of the production of their prized porcelain. By the later 18th century the Chinese were making charming sets of watercolors depicting the luxury industries that fascinated Westerners: the production of silk, the cultivation of tea and, more rarely, the production of porcelain. Wallpaper painted with porcelain production was given to Thomas Coutts by Lord Macartney in 1794 (and is still on the walls of Coutts in the Strand today.) Very rarely the various scenes were also combined in large oil paintings on canvas, as the example sold Christie's, Hong Kong, 25 October 1993, lot 1264.