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Date: Monday 22 April 2024
Registration: 6:30 – 7:00pm
Lecture: 7:00 – 8:00pm
Dinner: 8:00pm
Place: 1/F, Harcourt Room
The Hong Kong Club

Lecture only: $200 Members; $250 Non-members
Lecture & Dinner: $1,200 Members; $1,300 Non-members

*Please note that dinner reservations can only be confirmed upon payment and will be closed a week prior to the event. Please contact us to reserve a place.

The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong is delighted to welcome Dr Stacey Pierson to present a talk on Dr Johnson’s Teapot: the true story of an iconic Chinese object in the British Museum.

In the British Museum collection, there is an eighteenth-century Chinese famille rose teapot that is identified on its label as ‘Dr Johnson’s teapot’, associating it with the famous lexicographer and tea drinker Samuel Johnson (1708-84). But did he really own it? Research into its history and provenance has revealed that the connection to Johnson may in fact be wishful thinking. However, the story of its ownership that the research has uncovered is fascinating, and can explain how it was given a name that transformed it into an iconic object with powerful and resonant historical associations. This talk will discuss the research into the teapot, and the impact of its multiple owners on its identity, tracing its history from its origins in China to several English collections including one associated with Dr Johnson, and finally to the British Museum, where it resides today.

Dr Stacey Pierson is Professor of the History of Chinese Ceramics at SOAS, University of London. In addition to teaching and supervising research students in the School of Arts, she is President of the Oriental Ceramic Society (London) and series editor for the Routledge title Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1550-1950. Previously, from 1995 – 2007, she was Curator of the Percival David Foundation of Chinese art, also at the University of London, which housed the world-renowned David collection of Chinese ceramics. She has published widely on aspects of Chinese ceramics and the history of collecting and exhibitions, including Collectors, Collections and Museums: the Field of Chinese Ceramics in Britain: 1560-1960 (2007), Chinese Ceramics: a Design History (2009), From Object to Concept: Global Consumption and the Transformation of Ming Porcelain (2013), Private Collecting, Exhibitions and the Shaping of Art History in London: the Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1866-1950 (2017) and the edited volume Visual, Material and Textual Cultures of Food and Drink in China, 200 BCE – 1900 CE, Colloquies on Art and Archaeology in Asia, no. 25 (2022).

We remind members to abide by the Hong Kong Club’s smart dress code for guests: Business Smart (Jeans, T-shirts, tracksuits, shorts, shoes for sports activities and flip-flops are not acceptable. No denim may be worn at any time in the Club.)

Image: Courtesy of  the British Museum
Tea-pot and lid, Qing dynasty


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