The so-called 'Transitional Period' is a confusing term in the study of Chinese porcelain. It is used to designate pieces made from the death of the Emperor Wanli (1620) to the early years of the reign of Kangxi (1662-1722). As a result of political upheaval and civil wars the imperial patronage of the kilns diminished. Owners of private kilns adapted their wares to the demands of new markets and had to find new ways of raising the necessary capital. Apart from the need to find new customers, the situation also gave potters and porcelain painters a strong impulse to innovate and adapt. They were freed from rigid styles and demands and a really remarkable production was the result. New shapes, new decorations, new combinations of traditional motifs emerged and the wares made in this period are quite extraordinary in their creativeness, freedom and variety.