Mythical Beasts, Lotus Blossoms, and Bamboo: Examining the evidence for Chinese Porcelain in Virginia

Author(s): Suzanne Findlen Hood

Year: 2013

Summary

From its first introduction into Western homes, Chinese porcelain held mystique and value. Treasured for translucency and decoration, porcelain crossed the Atlantic with the first settlers at Jamestown who brought with them wine cups and other pieces of Chinese porcelain as symbols of the society they had left behind. These commodities were signs of the wealth and status of those who owned them. Chinese porcelain continued to represent these qualities into the eighteenth century, even as it became more widely available to American colonists; it constitutes one of the largest groups of artifacts recovered from archaeological sites in Tidewater Virginia. It played an influential role in the lives of eighteenth-century Virginians. 

This paper will highlight how the archaeological evidence brings complexity and nuance to the curatorial understanding of the Chinese porcelain that was present in eighteenth-century Virginia and how a decorative arts perspective can broaden the stories archaeology can tell. 

Cite this Record

Mythical Beasts, Lotus Blossoms, and Bamboo: Examining the evidence for Chinese Porcelain in Virginia. Suzanne Findlen Hood. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428695)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 203