The secret of Chinese porcelain production was finally understood in Germany in 1708 and led to the growth of the European porcelain industry. The discovery of hard-paste porcelain is credited to the mathematician, physicist and physician Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus. Following his death, the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger began producing porcelain at the Meissen porcelain manufactory, where this teapot was created. This teapot has been decorated in the Japanese Kakiemon style and features flowering peony and cherry branches. The Kakiemon kiln, in the Japanese town of Arita on the southern island of Kyushu, was founded in around 1670 and specialised in the production of wares that were typically decorated with a yellow, red, blue and turquoise palette set against a milky-white ground. After the fall of the Chinese Ming dynasty in 1644, Dutch traders began to import Kakiemon porcelain to Europe where it became extremely sought after. This eventually led to the imitation of Kakiemon patterns onto white porcelain produced in Europe.