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Material Encounters Workshop

Material Encounters of the East India Companies 1600-1830
Workshop at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford
Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd July 2011

porcelain packing 

Chinese export artist early 1780s, gouache on paper, Martyn Gregory Gallery, London

The early modern European trade with Asia laid the foundations for a new consumer market in Europe. Objects now housed in museums, porcelain from China, lacquer furniture from Japan, silk and cotton textiles were bought in bulk in Asia and sold at big auctions in Amsterdam, London and Copenhagen. Asian semi-luxuries became everyday fashion among the well-off in Europe. The workshop attempts to bridge the gap between the two different perspectives on the topic of Material Encounters with Asia, by bringing together historians, curators and dealers. Was there a pan-European market for Asian products? How were designs transferred between Europe and Asia? These are just some of the questions at the forefront of this workshop.
For more on the idea behind the workshop click here.


William Daniell "A view of the European Factories at Canton", late 18th century, Copyright National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Collecting the Companies:
The material and quantative evidence

Ware house Copenhagen

The East - West Dialogue
Shaping Manufacture

Parasol lady

 The Private Trade


'Courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford'

The East India Trade: Objects and the Interior

chinese fancy

Nordiska Museet

British Museum

Gothenburg statsmuseum V&A Ashmolean    


Please visit the Workshop Intranet (password required - please contact Felicia Gottmann for details)