Focusing on the prolific trade, transport and consumption of Chinese silk, porcelain and Japanese lacquer between 1500 and 1644, this groundbreaking book will show how the material cultures of late Ming China and Momoyama/Early Edo Japan on one side of the globe, and western Europe and the New World on the other, became linked for the first time, through an exchange of luxury Asian manufactured goods for currency (silver).
It offers new insight into these multi-layered long-distance commercial networks, which resulted in an unprecedented creation of material culture that reflected influences of both East and West. New research reveals new evidence of the trade of these three Asian manufactured goods first by Portugal and Spain, and later by the trading companies formed by the Northern Netherlands/Dutch Republic and England. It also sheds light on both the trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific commercial trading networks through which these goods circulated, and the way in which these goods were acquired and used Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English societies in western Europe and the multi-ethnic societies of the European colonies in the New World and Asia. Extant examples of Chinese silks and porcelains, along with Japanese lacquers of the period, complement the information gleaned from archival and textual material. In the case of porcelain, a large number of the examples illustrated are provided by archaeological finds from European shipwrecks, survival campsites, colonial settlements in Asia, the New World and the Caribbean, and their respective mother countries in western Europe. This book also shows the influence that the European merchants and missionaries exerted on the goods made specifically to order for them in both China and Japan, and how these orders led to the creation of a wide variety of hybrid, combining elements from different and distant cultures.
Published by Paul Holberton publishing, London, 2016
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