While the Song dynasty was declining (960 - 1279), the Yuan dynasty, established by the Mongol Kubilai Khan who was also the heir of Gengis Kahn, could reign over China from 1271 to 1368. This atypical period of China’s history had some impacts on the artistic production of these times. Even though the Yuan promoted the growth of the arts and the export of ceramic, let’s agree that globally and as far as esthetic is concerned, the craft industry experimented a period of recession if compared to the previous dynasty (Song) and the next one (Ming dynasty).
Yet, the ovens of Jingdezhen (King Tö Tchen) remained operational and they could produce a high quantity of porcelain while improving the techniques. But the elegance of the glazed ceramic during Song’s era disappeared. The only exception was then the massive production of the famous "white & blue" which would acquire an international notoriety and till now the collectors are still going in for. These color patterns can be found on various objects such as vases, plates and other covered boxes, and the major part of them were sold in the Near and Middle East.
Subsequently, Jingdezhen became, under Yuan dynasty, the headquarters of porcelain production in the whole Empire. The massive production of these delicate blue and white pieces of porcelain was generated by the use of cobalt oxide, imported from Mesopotamia. In fact, this material enabled the painting of elegant patterns under cover, and this marked the difference between the Song’s ceramic. Moreover, the new decoration index included - a part from the floral topic or other natural elements - a wide range of mythic animals such as dragons. The personalized touch, sometimes quite eccentric, of the ceramists is very remarkable. Finally, it has to be said that the celadon became very popular under Yuan dynasty, and helped with the conquest of India and the Ottoman Empire.