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Jorge Welsh Books Publish Reference Work on Chinese Export Porcelain

The most important new reference book on Chinese export porcelain to have been published for many years reveals for the first time comprehensive details of what is probably the world’s best private collection of pieces intended primarily for the European market. The RA Collection of Chinese Ceramics: A Collector’s Vision by Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos, a distinguished academic and museum director, also contains much new research into the entire subject of Chinese export porcelain. Published by Jorge Welsh Books, this magnificent limited edition three-volume boxed set is a work of art in its own right.

The RA Collection has been assembled over the past 30 years by an intuitive sharpeyed connoisseur who has combined a passion for Chinese export porcelain with a rigorous insistence on quality, beauty, rarity and historical relevance. The result is an extraordinary collection of rare works including 52 which are the only ones of their type yet recorded, 49 of which only one or two other examples are known and far more of the earliest pieces exported to Portugal during the 16th and early 17th centuries than can be found in any museum.

The author has been researching the RA Collection for 11 years, delving deep into fresh archival material and inventories from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The result of this detailed study is a work of true scholarship providing the most up to date and complete account of Chinese export porcelain available. There are more than 900 illustrations and the 1200 pages include, amongst others, specialist chapters on earthenware, stoneware, porcelain of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, works with Western shapes and decoration and armorial Chinese export porcelain. The book is a must for museum curators, collectors and scholars.

Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos is a respected expert on Chinese export porcelain from the 16th to the 19th centuries and has a particular interest in early pieces destined for the Portuguese market. Currently the Director of the National Tile Museum in Lisbon, she was previously Director of the Dr Anastácio Gonçalves Museum, also in Lisbon, and of the Portuguese Institute of National Museums. As well as curating exhibitions both in Portugal and abroad, she has written a number of books on Chinese export porcelain.

Jorge Welsh Books is the publishing company of Jorge Welsh and LuÍsa Vinhais who are internationally recognized specialists in oriental porcelain and works of art relating to the Portuguese expansion. Their expertise is reflected not only through their work as dealers with galleries in London and Lisbon and as advisers to collections but also through research, sponsorship and the publication of groundbreaking academic books such as this.

The RA Collection of Chinese Ceramics: A Collector’s Vision will be launched on Saturday 5 November 2011 at Jorge Welsh, 116 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BH. The author will give a lecture at the gallery at 5pm and will sign copies of the book. Three pieces from the RA Collection will be on display, including the crab tureen and stand illustrated in this release. The launch will coincide with an exhibition at the gallery entitled A Celebration of Chinese Export Porcelain which will be part of Asian Art in London.

Image: Entry 252 (Vol. II, p. 104), Tureen in the shape of a crouching crab and fixed stand. Porcelain decorated in famille rose enamels and gold. Qing dynasty, Qianlong period (1736-1795), ca. 1770. Height: 10.5 cm; length of stand: 22.8 cm; width of stand: 21.5.

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