Lectures will be held at the Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE at 6.00 p.m., or with welcome drinks in advance, at 5.45 p.m. for 6.15 p.m., unless otherwise noted*.

Tuesday 10th March, 2020
Annual OCS Woolf Jade Lecture sponsored by the Woolf Charitable Trust
5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks
Robert Tang, Private Collector of the published Chinese Jades from the Cissy and Robert Tang Collection
In Pursuit of Jade: My Personal Journey

Robert Tang is a private collector of Chinese jade.  100 pieces of the collection were published in “The Cissy and Robert Tang Collection of Chinese Jades” authored by Professor Jenny So and Dr. Chu Xin.  108 pieces of the collection were exhibited at the Art Museum, Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2015-6, curated by Dr. Xu Xiaodong, the Assistant Director of the Museum, with the assistance of Dr. Chu Xin.

In the lecture, Robert Tang will talk about his experience as a collector, and how jade has been collected through time, especially in the twentieth century.  He will also talk about a few objects in their Collection to illustrate points about the long history in the collection of jades and the perennial difficulty about their dating.  He will also compare a late Warring States (3rd Century B.C.) dancer in their collection, which was first published by Salmony in 1938, with what appears to be its mirror image, which was excavated in 2015 in Nanchang, Jiangxi from the apparently intact tomb of the Marquis of Haihun (92 B.C. – 59 B.C.), who had reigned as Emperor in 74 B.C. before he was deposed after 27 days.



Tuesday 7th April
Lecture sponsored by Dreweatts
5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks
Peter Ting and Ying Jian
Whiter shades of pale: Blanc de Chine – a continuous conversation

This lecture will be prefaced by an introduction from Dr Xiaoxin Li, V&A curator of China collections, introducing the curatorial thinking behind her current display ‘Blanc de Chine – a continuous conversation’. In the lecture,  Ying Jian will talk about historical Dehua Blanc de Chine, its unchanging making methods, and its relationship with Europe and the wider world. Industrial production of Blanc de Chine will also be discussed. Peter Ting will then speak about his love of Blanc de Chine and his early encounter with the material, as well as introducing work he has produced with local craftsmen. Peter will discuss the inspiration behind his pieces that have been included in the V&A display, and will explain his diverse sources of inspiration, which range from Macaroni, to Marco Polo and Elvis Presley. Ting and Ying will also discuss their period as invited ‘artists in residence’ at Dehua.

Peter Ting is an established ceramic artist, tableware designer and curator. His creations can be found in permanent collections in numerous museums globally, including British Museum, V&A, Ulster Museum, MAD (Museum of Art and Design, New York), M+ Museum and National Museum of China. Peter Ting has a successful career as a tableware designer, working with brands including Thomas Goode, Legle , Asprey and Garrard, while his other clients have included HM The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales, Royal Crown Derby, Fortnum & Mason, Royal Salute, Harrods, Liberty, Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Gump’s. In 2017, Peter launched Ting-Ying, an online gallery specializing in Blanc de Chine porcelain from Dehua China.

He is currently Trustee of QEST (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust), the charitable arm of The Royal Warrants Holders Association.

In April 2012, Ying Jian co-founded Kaolin, a professional ceramic media platform in China for spreading ceramic culture and introducing ceramic makers. In 2016, he established Ting-Ying Gallery in collaboration with Peter Ting, with a view to highlighting the modernity of the traditional crafts of China’s famed Dehua white porcelain.  At the same time, Ying Jian launched an artist-in-residence project in Dehua, Fujian and invited contemporary artists and designers from all over the world to interact with the ancient skills, so as to define new ways of thinking and production.  Ting-Ying Gallery was admitted as a member of International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) under UNESCO in October 2017. In February 2018 Ting-Ying Gallery made its debut at ‘Collect’ as the first gallery from China.

Currently at the V&A there is an exhibition about Blanc de Chine:


Tuesday 28th April
The Dr. H. Y. Mok Charitable Foundation lecture on export ceramics sponsored by Edwin Mok
5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis
Prof. Dr. Christiaan Jorg
From Tang to Qing: Some enigmatic exported Chinese ceramics

The history of Chinese ceramics that arrived in Northern Europe is well researched, but there are gaps in our knowledge and pieces that don’t fit into the accepted patterns. In particular, new archaeological discoveries sometimes raise questions that the (art) historian cannot easily answer, which is what makes these puzzling pieces so interesting!

Prof. Jörg doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, but would like to share the challenges. In his presentation he will start with what he calls ‘the Riga cup’, a small Chinese (?) vessel in Tang style, excavated from a 10th-century Viking tomb in the Baltic area. It is not an isolated find of Asian origin, because it can be compared with, for instance, excavated silks, but it is certainly the earliest known piece of exported Oriental ceramics in Northern Europe.

A second puzzling piece is a Wanli dish, evidently made for the Persian market, which ended-up as sherds in the earth in a small village in the north of Groningen province, the Netherlands. It is of a hitherto unknown type and one wonders about the journeys it made and why it was treasured in the North.

A third challenge is posed by a group of early 18th-century plates, well represented in the Dresden collection of Augustus the Strong, but elsewhere as well. The different versions of the botanical design raise the question of how a Western model or print (still unidentified) circulated in Jingdezhen and how one variation led to another.

Christiaan J. A. Jörg (1944) was curator of Asian ceramics at the Groninger Museum, Groningen, the Netherlands.  He was also professor at Leiden University teaching East-West interactions in decorative Art.  Presently he is academic supervisor of the Dresden Porcelain Project, which aims to produce a complete catalogue of the Asian porcelains in the former collection of Augustus the Strong.  Prof. Jörg has curated several major exhibitions and lectured widely in Europe, the Far East and the United States. He has published a number of influential books, catalogues and articles on Asian export porcelain and Japanese export lacquer.


Tuesday 16th June
AGM, lecture and reception sponsored by Bonhams
AGM starts at 5:30 pm followed by lecture and food and drinks reception
Dr. Edward Luper, Chinese Art, Bonhams
Art Objects and Nostalgia in the ‘Dream of the Red Mansions’ 

In the 18th century novel The Story of the Stone (石頭記) by Cao Xueqin 曹雪芹 (1715-1763) art objects play an important part in provoking within some characters personal memories and nostalgia, most often exclusively linked to the death of a relative or loved one. In the novel, objects that provoke nostalgia and memory for the dead are not comforting, rather following Buddhist ideas regarding attachment, they are associated with causing pain and suffering. Yet the deep attachment to material objects and nostalgia that permeates the novel (both from the characters and the author himself) appears to counter with the Buddhist teaching of impermanence and non-attachment. This paper argues that the author ultimately used the pain and suffering that came with attachment to objects through memory and nostalgia as a device to show the illusory nature of this world and that greater understanding of it could lead eventually to enlightenment.

Edward Luper is a specialist of Chinese Art at Bonhams London. He studied Chinese language (modern and classical) at SOAS before continuing with a masters and D.Phil at Oxford University. His thesis was on the Ming dynasty artist and poet Xu Wei (1521-1593).


Tuesday 13th October
Lecture sponsored by Duke’s Auctioneers
5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks
Rachel Peat, Assistant Curator in non-European works of art at the Royal Collections Trust
Most significant Japanese ceramics in the Royal Collection

Japan: Courts and Culture
An important exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace from 12 June – 8 November 2020

The Royal Collection contains one of the finest holdings of Japanese works of art in the western world, significant for both the unique provenance and exceptional quality of the objects. Now, for the first time, highlights from the collection are brought together in the exhibition Japan: Courts and Culture, which tells the story of the diplomatic, artistic and cultural exchanges between Britain and Japan from the reigns of James I to Queen Elizabeth II. Including rare examples of porcelain, lacquer, armour and embroidered screens, the exhibition offers a unique insight into the relationship between the imperial and royal courts over a period of 300 years.


Monday 2nd November
*Asia Week lecture sponsored by Sotheby’s held at Sotheby’s London, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1A 2AA*
Professor LV Chenglong, Deputy Director of the Antiquities Department at the Palace Museum, Beijing
Excavations and research of the Palace Museum into Chinese ceramics


OCS Asia Week lecture 
Tuesday 10th November
Lu, Pengliang, Associate Curator of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Later Chinese Bronzes


Tuesday 8th December
The Sir Michael Butler Memorial Lecture sponsored by Katharine and Charles Butler
5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis
Helen Glaister on “Collecting in Public and Private: The Ionides Collection of Chinese Export Porcelain, 1920-1970.”  

Link to Previous Lectures