Session - 26 November 2020
This session aims to investigate the European/Western demand for Chinese works of art bought and sold outside China between 1700 and 1860: who were the market movers and shakers? In what way did the Prince Regent, later King George IV (1762-1830) influence the desire in Britain for Chinese works of art? Did his enthusiasm for an Asian theme at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton influence the market? Where did the ambition to have ‘Chinoiserie’-themed rooms come from? Such as the ‘Chinese Room’ at Claydon House, Buckingham, home of the Verney family.
Unlike the European ‘Grand Tour’ when paintings and works of art arrived relatively easily into Britain from the near continent. How and where did buyer’s find their new Chinese blue and white porcelain or their ‘Japanned’ lacquer cabinets? Who was selling export porcelain? Did you purchase them at a shop, at a local warehouse or ‘Pantechnicon’ stuffed with exotic Asian goods? Who were the art dealers exporting eastern works of art to the west? What role did the auction house play in creating a market? By selling these appealing goods did they contribute to a growing market or develop a trend?
This session will examine and introduce some of the key individuals: the traders and the collectors. It will shine a spotlight on the cultivation of and demand for goods exported to the west for sale or brought back from Asia by travellers happy to display their new curious purchases. The narrative will also focus on such questions such as: – “what route to the west did these cultural artefacts and remarkable objects take?” “How significant was the Silk Road trading passage?” Along the way we will discuss whether language was a barrier to trade? And how did the demand for Chinese export porcelain fuel a growing market sector?