Most Westerners love and enjoy the decorations on Chinese ceramics for their sheer beauty. But for the Chinese, there is more than beauty, there is meaning. This meaning is hidden in a symbolic language of auspicious signs. By 'reading' the meaning of the design, a process of interaction takes place between the viewer and the object, a most important element of appreciation of art in traditional China. This book presents about 80 masterpieces of Chinese porcelain (12th-18th centuries) from the Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, the National Ceramic Museum of the Netherlands and the Ottema-Kingma Foundation. It will be the first time that a collection of Chinese ceramics is interpreted by explaining the 'hidden' auspicious meaning of their decorations. This is destined to become a reference work for years to come, introducing the most important and interesting pieces from the Princessehof collection and at the same time serving as a 'handbook' for Chinese symbolism and iconography.