The Oriental Ceramic Society

Future Lectures

Each year, the Oriental Ceramic Society (OCS) curates a series of lectures that are given by distinguished scholars.  These talks are scheduled once a month in the evening and are usually held in the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly. 

Please see the upcoming lectures below.

June 2024
11 June 2024

The Melford Hall Collection of Chinese Porcelain. A Booty from the Santísima Trinidad Galleon

This is the Annual Shang Shan Tang Lecture When the captured Spanish Manila galleon Santísima Trinidad arrived in Plymouth harbour on June 6, 1764, carrying a precious cargo of exotic goods from East Asia—gold, precious gems, silks, ivory, and Chinese porcelain—it was the sensation of the season in the British press. The British had seized […] ...

6:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
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Previous Lectures

May 2024
14 May 2024

Ming porcelain from the Portuguese shipwreck Espadarte (1558)

Expired

The Annual Dr Mok H. Y. Charitable Foundation Lecture spopnsored by Dr Edwin Mok For almost 450 years, the remains of the Portuguese nau Espadarte were buried in the shallow waters off Fort San Sebastian on Mozambique Island, which was the former Portuguese capital of East Africa. The Espadarte, previously known as the ‘Fort San […] ...

6:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
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April 2024
09 April 2024

From Xing to Ding : Advances in Northern Porcelain Technology

Expired

North China’s premier porcelains were made at the Xing and Ding kiln complexes respectively. The world’s first true porcelains were developed by potters at the Xing kilns in the late 6th to early 7th centuries, and flourished there through the Tang Dynasty (618–907), achieving a material quality unmatched in the West until the early 18th […] ...

6:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
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March 2024
12 March 2024

Jades from China and India – a most curious exchange

Expired

This is our annual Woolf Jade Lecture, kindly sponsored by Jonathan Woolf and the Woolf Charitable Trust. China made artefacts out of a semi-precious stone called “jade”, and so did India. Chinese archaeologists have unearthed jade slit rings which they date to the 8th millennium BC. The history of the production of jade artefacts in […] ...

6:15 pm - 8:00 pm
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
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February 2024
13 February 2024

China in the Frame: Pots in Paintings, Paintings of Pots and Paintings on Pots

Expired

Students of China’s ceramics have taken to mining the archive of paintings for evidence and insights about their subject, not just among collected works but equally fruitfully among vernacular images found in tombs. This approach through visual culture is proving useful, despite the common problems with authorship and dating among scrolls and pictures handed down. […] ...

6:15 pm - 8:00 pm
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
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January 2024
09 January 2024

Weapons in Late Shang (c.1250-1050 BCE) China: Beyond Typology and Ritual

Expired

The late Shang at Yinxu is a major period, foundational to the forming of Chinese civilization and renowned for its magnificent bronze vessels. However, the even larger quantities of weapons in bronze and other materials have attracted less scholarly attention. Do they simply represent the status and military role of the deceased? Were they merely […] ...

6:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
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December 2023
12 December 2023

Ceramics in Japanese woodblock prints

Expired

The talk presents ceramic wares that were depicted in Japanese woodblock prints. It will introduce the different types of wares incorporated into print designs and illustrate the large variety of settings of the vessels. Often depicted as part of accoutrements in prints of beauties (bijinga), they are also showcased in context of tea ceremony and […] ...

6:15 pm - 7:00 pm
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November 2023
14 November 2023

Beyond the Borders: Asian Ceramics in the National Trust for Scotland

Expired

In the absence of a luxury ceramic industry, Scotland’s gentry relied heavily on imported Asian ceramics for use and display in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. From a Baroque-style China Closet at Newhailes House in East Lothian, completed in 1821, to the cherished treasures of the Dukes of Hamilton at Brodick Castle on the Isle […] ...

6:15 pm - 7:00 pm
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October 2023
30 October 2023

Past Collectors, Their Collections And The Art Market

Expired

The Oriental Ceramic Societyis most grateful to Sotheby’s for sponsoring the 2023 Asian Art in London/OCS Lecture. However, instead of a lecture,  Henry Howard-Sneyd will be in conversation with Roger Keverne on Past Collectors, their Collections and the Art Market. The conversation will be about a number of deceased major collectors, some key objects from […] ...

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
34-35 New Bond Street, London W1A 2AA
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10 October 2023

Gifts from the Ming Court to the Islamic World

Expired

This talk presents diplomatic letters, including those compiled in chancery manuals, as source materials that illustrate in detail the material culture of diplomacy between Ming China and the Islamic world. It seeks to shed new light on the Ming items sent as gifts, the exchange etiquette, and the reception of such objects in the Islamic […] ...

6:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
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June 2023
13 June 2023

Jun, Yaozhou and Longquan: Three Different Kilns, Three Common Factors

Expired

  This is the AGM 2023 Lecture and Reception The lecture draws on material used in the essays for three recent books: Dazzling Official Jun Wares from Museums and Collections Around the World (2021): Yaozhou Wares From Museums and Art Institutes Around the World: Including Yaozhou Tribute Wares (2022): Jade Green and Kingfisher Blue: Longquan […] ...

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
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May 2023
09 May 2023

The Cost of Receiving Foreign Tributes to the Qing Court

Expired

Emperor Qianlong had received three European embassies - that of Portugal, England and Holland. Historians usually focus on the kowtow ceremony, or the large sums of money the Europeans spent buying the presents, but they seldom speak of the expenses that the Chinese government had to bear to receive those embassies. ...

6:15 pm
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
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April 2023
11 April 2023

Chinese Plates fit for an Acehnese Queen

Expired

All over Southeast Asia is found a particular type of coarse Chinese export porcelain traditionally known as ‘Swatow’ (now more accurately termed Zhangzhou) ware, dating from the late Ming period. One characteristic type of large Swatow dish had a central circle with eight smaller circles around it, all filled with inscriptions in Arabic script. These […] ...

6:15 pm
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
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