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From Object to Concept: Global Consumption and the Transformation of Ming Porcelain [Hardcover]

Stacey Pierson

RRP: 34.50
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Book Description

23 April 2013
Ming porcelain is widely regarded among the world's finest cultural treasures. From ordinary household items patiently refined for imperial use, porcelain became a dynamic force in domestic consumption in China and a valuable commodity in export trade. In the modern era, it has reached unprecedented heights in art auctions and other avenues of global commerce. This book examines the impact of consumption on the evolution of porcelain and its transformation into a foreign cultural icon. The book begins with an examination of ways in which porcelain was appreciated in Ming China, followed by a discussion of encounters with Ming porcelain in several global regions including Europe and the Americas. The book also looks at the invention of the phrase and concept of 'the Ming vase' in English-speaking cultures and concludes with a history of the transformation of Ming porcelain into works of art.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Hong Kong University Press (23 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9888139835
  • ISBN-13: 978-9888139835
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 18.4 x 26 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,059,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This book has an impressive historical scope, from the fourteenth to the twenty-first century. It ranges over a variety of interesting topics relevant to the history of a famous commodity. In addition to discussing the economic production, social use, and reception of Ming porcelain throughout the world, it offers a novel and often amusing account of the treatment of Ming porcelain in modern popular U.K. and U.S. cultures. It also presents extensive coverage of recent English-language work on Chinese porcelain, and it attempts to put the study of Ming, and by extension Chinese, porcelain in a wider conceptual framework, that of transcultural shifts in the use and meaning of art objects. -- Joe P. McDermott, University of Cambridge Essential. Choice 11/1/13

About the Author

Stacey Pierson is a senior lecturer in the History of Chinese ceramics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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