A British Chinese collector said Friday that he will bring more than 100 pieces of Chinese export porcelain he collected over the past three decades back to China for a touring exhibition, and part of the collection will be donated to a Chinese museum.
Xi Jianjun told a press conference that his collection of Chinese export porcelain will be exhibited at the Overseas Chinese History Museum in Beijing on Nov. 8, when he will donate some of the exhibits to the museum as a permanent collection.
Chinese export porcelain was made almost exclusively for export to Europe and later to North America between the 16th and the 20th century. For centuries, it has been a luxury favored by royal families and nobility. Merchants from Europe and the United States traveled thousands of miles to China to buy customized porcelain products.
Xi said that part of the collection will soon be on display, including a pastel dish of "West Chamber" and a porcelain bowl "lady Zhaojun bidding farewell over the frontier" in Qing Dynasty, as well as porcelain depicting Greek mythology, biblical stories and other western stories.
"These hundreds-year-old ancient porcelain not only helps historians study the history of Chinese porcelain, but also trace the trade between China and the Western world in China's Ming and Qing Dynasties, with high historical value," British porcelain expert and historian Maurice Hyams said.
"It is time to take them back to their parents and let people know more about their overseas life and experience, and through them we can witness the cultural exchanges and trade relations between the Chinese and Western society hundreds of years ago," Xi said.
He said that the export porcelain came to Europe hundreds of years ago along the Maritime Silk Road for business, and now they will come back to China due to patriotism. "I hope people would feel the hearts of our overseas Chinese through these exhibits."