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The Nabeshima porcelains were not made for export; indeed, they were not made for trade. They seem to run against the usual taste of late seventeenth and early eighteenth century Japan. Their production is faultless, their decoration exquisite, and is decidedly not Genroku in spirit. Probably made for the use of the Lords of the Nabeshima clan, either as noble gifts or possibly for actual use, they seem more to seek the Chinese ideal of perfection than the Japanese ideal of strength alone. The technique of decoration uses an underglaze blue outline, almost never used in the Imari or Kakiemon, to enclose the clear enamel colours. The designs are careful and uncluttered, and may involve naturalistic birds and flowers or entirely abstract pattern-making; it is rare for both to occur on the same piece.