Photograph Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Members enjoyed a varied and interesting lecture programme last Autumn, starting in October when Dr Luk Yu-ping, Curator of Chinese Collections in the Asian Department of the V&A presented “Chinese Jewellery in the Victoria and Albert Museum Collection”.

Dr Luk also hosted a discussion and handling session of painted enamels on copper in the V & A collection during November, which was much enjoyed by members who took part.

The long awaited OCS exhibition China without Dragons: Rare Pieces from Oriental Ceramic Society Members was held at Sotheby’s in New Bond Street from 3rd to 9th November and coincided with Asia Week in London. We are most grateful to Sotheby’s for their financial support and co-operation in organising the exhibition, which was a great success.  The show was curated by Regina Krahl with the support of an exhibition committee and included some two hundred rare and unusual pieces drawn from the collections of OCS members. We hope it encouraged new members to join and it gave existing members a chance to see their collections under the spotlights.

The ceramics chosen for display included unglazed, sancai (‘three-colour’) glazes, white wares, celadon, blue and white, famille verte, monochromes and famille rose, but as much as these categories may be familiar, the pieces were exceptional. China’s many kilns were represented, alongside examples from Japan and Southeast Asia. With pieces from all periods in the rich history of fired clay, the exhibition offered a unique opportunity to explore the sheer quality and diversity of Asian ceramics.

Since the OCS was first established in 1921, the display of pieces from members’ private collections has been a cornerstone of the Society’s work in furthering the understanding and appreciation of ceramics from Asia. China without Dragons continued this mission, stepping beyond the familiar to reveal works that are elegant, playful, bold and serene: cherished masterpieces in which we can all delight.

Colin Sheaf, Chairman of Bonhams UK and Asia, and head of the auction house’s global Asian art department, gave a most entertaining lecture at Bonhams on Monday 7th November: “Bond Street Blues: the Victorian passion for ‘Nankin’’.

Also during Asia Week we were delighted to host two senior curators from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.  Dr. Tatiana Arapova gave a lecture on New Research into Painted Enamels and Maria Menshikova gave a second lecture on Diplomatic Gifts from the Kangxi Emperor to Peter the Great, both of which were very well received by our members.

In December, the annual Sir Michael Butler Memorial Lecture was a special one.  The lecture, due to be given jointly by John Ayers and Rufus Bird, was on New Discoveries of Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen. Unfortunately, John Ayers was unwell but Rufus Bird, Deputy Surveyor of the Queen’s Works of Art, gave a most interesting talk.  This lecture coincided with the publication of the three volume catalogue raisonne of Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen  and we were extremely pleased to be able to host it.

For our Spring 2017 lectures, please look under Lectures.