Global Commodities

Asian objects at Kedleston hall, Derbyshire, collected by Lord Curzon (1859-1925) during his tenure as Viceroy of India. ©National Trust Images/Nadia Mackenzie

The University of Warwick is hosting an interesting conference entitled Global Commodities, which will take place between 12 and 14 December. The conference will examine the role of material culture in the development of global connections in the early modern world.

Gouache depicting Maharajah Pratap Singh of Tanjore, late 18th century, at Powis Castle, Powys. ©National Trust Images

The speakers are rather global as well, with participants from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the UK and the USA.

Indian red lacquer bridal chest, at Bateman’s, West Sussex. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Three scholars who are involved directly or indirectly with the National Trust Chinese wallpaper project will be presenting papers – which partly explains my keen interest in this conference.

Detail of a padoukwood and ivory cabinet on stand, Vizagapatam, 18th century, at Kingston Lacy, Dorset. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Helen Clifford will be exploring concepts of home in 18th-century England, Kate Smith will be talking about East India Company households and Anna Wu will be explaining her Chinese wallpaper research. I am very much looking forward to hearing their talks and those of the other contributors.

6 Responses to “Global Commodities”

  1. mary Says:

    These are amazing photos of outstanding pieces. The cabinet on stand leaves me speechless. Thank you. Mary

  2. Susan Walter Says:

    What, if any, connection is there between these fabulous Indian ivory pieces of furniture and the decorative ivory panels in European Renaissance furniture? Are the techniques used to create them similar? Is it all essentially very sophisticated scrimshaw?

  3. The Devoted Classicist Says:

    And I look forward to your sharing your own thoughts after these presentations.

  4. Mark D. Ruffner Says:

    The sette from Kedleston Hall is amazing, and I’m guessing that it is all inlay of ivory. The whole image is very handsome, and makes me want to see more of Lord Curzon’s collection.

  5. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Glad you like them, Mary.

    Susan, you astute questions call for the consultation of a monograph – or several monographs – on the historic trade in ivory and the use and spread of different techniques, styles, and applications. I have had a quick look to see which books there are on these subjects, as there must be some, but I cannot immediately find them! For which my apologies.

    Classicist, thanks, I will try to report back.

    Mark, I will see if I can do a post showing more of Curzon’s Indian collection.

  6. style court Says:

    The ivory/wood cabinet leaves me speechless, too. That beautiful close shot makes the compartments look like rooms. Rooms with balconies and floor-to-ceiling pattern, almost like wallpaper.

    Over the weekend I was revisiting (virtually revisiting) a 2009 show at the Asian in San Francisco, “Emerald Cities.” Although the inlaid and carved furniture there was Burmese and Thai, not Indian, your post is perfectly timed for me. I’ve got inlay work on the brain 🙂

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