Tankards and Mugs

Drinking from Chinese Export Porcelain

by Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos and Rose Kerr

The first comprehensive study on Chinese Porcelain Tankards and Mugs, with pieces from 23 museums, 18 private collectors and 3 dealers, from around the world.; Tankards and mugs are vessels that illuminate many aspects of social, economic and art history. This book focuses on Chinese export porcelain tankards and mugs dating from the 15th to the 19th century. 

Drinking is a pleasurable and social activity, enjoyed by most cultures of the world. In China, alcohol was used for feasts, festivals and religious ritual as early as the Neolithic age. In the West, beer, cider and porter were drunk on both convivial and solemn occasions. Vessels used to contain drink were often treasured containers, and time and care was spent on their manufacture and decoration. They needed to be practical, functional utensils, but also beautiful. When Chinese porcelain reached Europe an ideal match was made. Top quality wares were highly regarded luxury items, and they included tankards and mugs.

This book is illustrated with 197 Chinese porcelain tankards and mugs, each catalogued and referenced in detail. They range from blue and white to delicately enamelled vessels, some emblazoned with western designs and coats of arms. The introductory essays discuss the history of a vessel that played an important role in society, stimulating design and decoration while also being symbolic of kinship and harmony.


Biographies of the authors

Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos is currently the director of the Museu Nacional do Azulejo in Lisbon, having previously been curator at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, director of Casa-Museu Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves, and of the Portuguese Institute of Museums, also in Lisbon. She graduated in History from the Universidade Clássica de Lisboa, postgraduating in Museology. Since 1980, she has researched the field of Chinese export porcelain in general and that made for the Portuguese market in particular. She is the author of various books, catalogues and articles on Chinese export porcelain, a frequent lecturer on the subject and teaches regularly at Portuguese universities and other institutions.

Rose Kerr is Honorary Associate of the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge, after retiring as Keeper of the Far Eastern Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum. She graduated in Chinese studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies and spent a year as a student in China during the last year of the Cultural Revolution, 1975-1976. She teaches and lectures internationally, and acts as Honorary Fellow at the University of Glasgow, Chairman of the Great Britain-China Education Trust, Trustee of the Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art and Museum Expert Advisor for Hong Kong. In 2015 she was created an Honorary Citizen of Jingdezhen. Author and contributor to 20 books on Asian art, she is a regular contributor to journals and magazines.


Published by Jorge Welsh Research & Publishing, Lisbon/London, 2016

  • Language: English
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN  978-0-9557432-7-6
  • 23.5 × 29.7 cm
  • 352 pages, 431 colour illustrations
  • Book Condition: New. LIMITED EDITION OF 500 COPIES.
  • £150,00 (+ shipping)
HardcoverAir mailStandard
Portugal £6,00
Europe £12,00
Rest of the World £30,00

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