The Oriental Ceramic Society 
Devoted to the study and appreciation of all aspects of oriental art


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The lectures are only open to members of the society and you are asked to make contact with the secretary if you would like to attend.
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Blue-and-white brushrest
From Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, southern China. Ming dynasty, reign of Zhengde (AD 1506-21)



P.O. Box 517

Cambridge CB21 5BE, U.K.

Tel/Fax: + 44 (0) 1223 881328

Email address:

Web address:

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The first three lectures given this spring reflect the wide spectrum of topics covered by the Society today, as we heard about ceramics and jade, about China and Egypt, and about Neolithic as well as contemporary works. Felicity Aylieff took us on a tour through her ceramic making in China’s ‘porcelain capital’ Jingdezhen, Elinor Pearlstein gave a meticulously researched Woolf Jade Lecture introducing the Sonnenschein and other American jade collectors and Dr. Nigel Wood presented a fascinating comparison between Longquan celadons and their Mamluk pottery counterparts excavated at Fustat. The Woolf Jade Collection was specially opened again for OCS members, and Dr. Nicole Rousmaniere offered our members a rare chance to handle ceramics created by Japanese Living National Treasures in the British Museum.

For the first time the OCS offered a small programme for members in the United States with a private viewing of some of the Brooklyn Museum’s masterpieces in New York, organized by Dr. Susan Beningson, and a very well received Symposium on New Perspectives on Kangxi Porcelain organized by Sotheby’s New York in cooperation with the OCS and the American Ceramic Circle, with a highbrow panel of speakers composed of Dr. Julia Curtis, Dr. Stephen Little, Dr. Ni Yibin, Jeffrey Stamen and Matthew Bunney. The London programme in the coming months should be no less exciting, starting with two lectures by a scholar of the new generation of archaeologists working in Jingdezhen; please consult the programme below.

Sadly, we have lost another long-standing and very active Society member, who for years also served on the Council, Mr. Basil Rose, as well as the art dealer Robert Kleiner, a specialist in Chinese snuff bottles.

Regina Krahl, President

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Subscriptions for the year 2014/15 are now due. Enclosed with this Programme* you will find a Subscription Renewal Form and Invoice. Please check that all your details on the form are correct and advise any changes or missing information. Please return the form with your subscription payment. It is important that our database contains up-to-date information for all our members, in order to ensure that contact between us is efficient. This information is protected under the terms of the Data Protection Act. If you pay by Banker’s Order, there is no need to do anything unless any of your details need updating, in which case please mark the changes on the form and return it to us by post or send an Email.

It saves us a good deal of time and cost if members pay their subscriptions promptly and we are most grateful to those members who do so. Only fully paid up members receive information from us, including the annual Transactions. Payment can be made by banker’s order, credit card or cheque. If you wish to pay by credit card, please write your card number and expiry date on the Subscription Renewal Form. If you have an old standing order paying £45 instead of £55 per year, please send us a cheque for the balance and write to your bank to update the amount due. Thank you.

* Please note that the subscription renewal form and invoice will be sent to all members by mail. They will not be attached to the email sent with the Summer Programme to those members on email.*

If we are still contacting you by mail but you have an email account, please let us know your address, since this saves the Society mailing costs.

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Lectures will be held at the Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE, either at 6.00 p.m., or with welcome drinks in advance, at 5.45 p.m. for 6.15 p.m., unless otherwise noted*.

Friday 9th May at the Society of Antiquaries (note change of date from previous programme)

6.00 p.m. (lecture until 7:15 p.m.) followed by a drinks reception sponsored by Marion and Sam Marsh

May Huang and Dr. Assadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani

Important New Discoveries of Early Yuan Blue-and-White from Jingdezhen

May Huang will present recent discoveries of porcelain fragments at Jingdezhen which should change the chronology of Yuan Blue-and-White. These will include the only dated piece of Yuan blue-and-white besides the ‘David Vases’, as well as a group of very important underglaze-blue and -red decorated shards excavated at Hongwei Yingyuan (Hongwei Cinema) in downtown Jingdezhen. Through analysis of the archaeological strata and other research, these fragments may be attributed to the period between 1323 and 1336, i.e. much earlier than the so-called “David Vases Type” first advanced by American scholars such as John Pope in the 1950s. In total fragments of fifteen stem bowls have been discovered, all of which are decorated in underglaze blue and copper red. A scientific compositional test indicates that both the cobalt-blue and copper-red pigments were imported from West Asia. Moreover, seven stem bowls are decorated with Iranian verses along the rim. After analysing the inscriptions, the shape, decoration, and painting technique, one may conclude that these wares were made by Iranian potters who came to Jingdezhen with imported cobalt. 

Dr. Melikian-Chirvani will analyse and discuss the Iranian inscriptions on these stem bowls.

May Huang (Huang Wei), born in 1982, works as lecturer at the School of Ceramic Art, Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, where she teaches courses on the history of Chinese ceramics as well as world ceramics. She holds an M.A. degree from Peking University and has published articles in Wenwu and elsewhere. She has extensive field experience with archaeological excavations, and in 2008 and 2013 received the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute’s award of Exemplary Teacher. She has repeatedly been invited to lecture to the OCS, London, the Hong Kong OCS, and the Min Chiu Society, Hong Kong. 

Dr. Assadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani is a historian of Iran and Iranian art. He is Research Director of the Département des sciences de l’homme et de société of the CNRS in France and has published widely on Iranian art, in particular on metalwork. Among his many publications are the catalogue raisonné of the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, entitled Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World (1982); and the catalogue of a major Safavid exhibition at the Louvre, Paris, Le chant du monde : l'art de l'Iran safavide, 1501-1736 (2007).

Sunday 11th May at 3:45 p.m. OCS/Sothebys lecture

* Venue: Sotheby’s London, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1A 2AA *

May Huang

Literati Taste of Supervisor Tang Ying:

A Study Based on Newly Discovered Ceramics He Commissioned

As an excellent supervisor of the imperial kilns, Tang Ying?1682-1756) has achieved brilliant results during the Yongzheng and Qianlong periods. At the same time he took advantage of his access to the manufactories to make a number of porcelains for himself and his friends. These wares, which were commissioned by Tang Ying and not by the Emperor, genuinely embody his literary taste and personality. This lecture will present several categories of such porcelains including some newly discovered pieces auctioned recently, and by analyzing their style and design philosophy and looking at documentary records identify the characteristics of this type of porcelain and offer a new view on Supervisor Tang Ying.

For a biographical note on May Huang, see above.

Admission is free but places are limited and booking essential.

RSVP: or phone 020 7293 6442.

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The Oriental Ceramic Society AGM

Wednesday 18th June

The AGM will start promptly at 5:30 p.m. followed by the annual Sonia Lightfoot paintings lecture and a food and drinks reception sponsored by Sotheby’s.

Dr. Shane McCausland, Reader in the History of Art of China, Department of History of Art & Archaeology, SOAS, University of London

Seeing Well-being: A Revisionist View of Later Yuan (1271-1368) Painting

In Chinese art history, the canonical story of later Yuan (1271-1368) painting told almost exclusively of an elite group of southern Chinese scholar-artists who struggled to practise in the dystopian spiral of social and political life in Mongol-ruled China. In the current expanding field of art history, however, the idea is not so strange that the Mongol royals themselves and those of many races who served them at court might have regarded the arts as a vital agent for promoting the health and well-being of both the individual and government. This study aspires to understand how the Yuan court, using painting and also calligraphy, responded to profound challenges to the Mongol polity in the fourteenth century, but also, importantly, what the wider literate population of China might have made of such court initiatives.

Shane McCausland is Reader in the History of Art of China at SOAS, University of London. He was previously, until 2009, Head of Collections and also Curator of the East Asian Collections at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. He received a doctorate in Art History with East Asian Studies from Princeton University. He has published books and articles and organized exhibitions on many aspects of East Asian art from Gu Kaizhi and the Admonitions scroll to Xu Bing's Book from the Sky, including Telling Images of China: Narrative and Figure Paintings, 15th-20th Century, from the Shanghai Museum (Scala, 2010) and Zhao Mengfu: Calligraphy and Painting for Khubilai's China (Hong Kong University Press, 2011). A monograph, The Mongol Century: Visual Cultures of Yuan China, 1271-1368, is forthcoming in 2014 from Reaktion Books.

A food and drinks reception, sponsored by Sotheby’s, will follow Shane’s lecture, to which all members are warmly invited. So we have an idea of numbers for catering purposes, please complete the booking form at the end of the programme.

14th October: David Hyatt-King will talk on Hirado’s Earlier Figurines and Models

3rd November: The Annual Bonhams/OCS lecture

*Venue: Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London W1S 1SR*

Drinks 5:30 p.m. Lecture 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.

Jessica Harrison-Hall on People of the Ming

What was it like to live in early Ming China? China was the most sophisticated state in the world in the early fifteenth century. Little is known of the vast population that worked on the land producing tea, rice and cotton. However, we do know about the emperors and empresses, princes and princesses that ruled the imperial and regional courts. We have spectacular portraits showing the rulers and paintings which portray life in their palaces. Their courts were furnished with finely worked lacquer, exquisite gold, porcelain and jade. They shared collections of paintings, calligraphy and books. In the Buddhist, Daoist temples and mosques ceremonies and services were conducted which were recorded in fabulous paintings and texts. The early fifteenth century was a time of building the Forbidden City in Beijing and sending treasure ships around the world to the Middle East and Africa. These contacts made China cosmopolitan full of foreign goods, people and ideas. This lecture will bring this period of history to life. It is linked to the major exhibition at the British Museum curated by Craig Clunas and Jessica Harrison-Hall (18 September- 2014 to 5 January 2015).

Jessica Harrison-Hall is Curator of the Sir Percival David Collection and Chinese Ceramics and Vietnamese Art at the British Museum. She has curated special exhibitions on Chinese ceramics, export ceramics, textiles and Vietnamese war art, the permanent gallery of the Sir Percival David Collection of Chinese Ceramics at the British Museum and China: Journey to the East - a UK touring exhibition. Her publications include Catalogue of Late Yuan and Ming Ceramics in the British Museum (2001), Vietnam Behind the Lines (2002), Pocket Timeline of China (2007), Chinese Ceramics: Highlights of the Sir Percival David Collection (with Regina Krahl, 2009, translated into Chinese 2013) and Passion for Porcelain (with L. Mengoni, H. Young and A. Dawson, 2012). She is currently working on a major AHRC research project Ming: Courts and Contacts 1400-1450 and the exhibition Ming: 50 Years that Changed China with Professor Craig Clunas, which will open at the British Museum 18 September 2014 and close 5 January 2015.

Admission is free but booking essential to Chris Mitchell at Bonhams at or telephone 0207 468 8248.

5th November: Julia Curtis will give a Memorial Lecture for Sir Michael Butler entitled Sir Michael Butler's Legacy: Decoding 17th Century Chinese Porcelain

9th December: Lisa Golombek on Potters’ Marks on 17th Century Persian Blue-and-White

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The next discussion and handling session of wares from members’ collections will be held on Friday 9th May from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Society of Antiquaries. The subject will be Korean wares. This session is now fully booked.


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Monday 2nd June

The Earl of Aylesford is allowing us to visit Packington Hall, which is close to Meriden, south east of Coventry. Packington Hall owns a large collection of Yixing teapots which have been housed in the long gallery since it was decorated in the Etruscan style in about 1800. We will also be able to have a short guided tour of the main rooms of the house which are not generally open to the public.

The Earl has indicated that he is supporting a project for the restoration of the local church and we suggest that £10 per application (or more) should be given to this worthy cause. It would help if you enclose your donation with the application form to enable us to give one cheque at the time of our visit.

The actual visit to Packington Hall will begin at 14:00 hours. Meriden has both a Pub and a restaurant and the local golf club also has a restaurant. We will send more details about travel, parking, restaurants, etc. to members wishing to join the party. The party will be strictly limited to the first 20 members of the Society who apply using the form at the end of this programme.

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MING: 50 Years that Changed China

18 September 2014 – 5 January 2015 at the British Museum

Special Group Lecture Package on Friday 21st November

This major exhibition at the British Museum will explore a golden age in China’s history, the period between AD 1400 and 1450. For further information on the exhibition, please see page 7 below.

We have been fortunate to be able to book a Group Lecture Package, which comprises coffee and biscuits on arrival at 10.30 in the CEC Foyer; the curator giving a lecture from 11.00 - 12.00 in the lecture theatre to discuss the range, context and highlight objects of the exhibition; then, after a pause for lunch at leisure, the museum arrange for timed admission to the exhibition. The cost will be £27.50 per person, fully inclusive of coffee, tea & biscuits, the curator’s lecture and timed admission ticket to the exhibition with a printed guide leaflet.

We are fortunate that one of the chief curators of the exhibition, Jessica Harrison-Hall, has very kindly agreed to give the lecture that day. (Jessica is curator of Chinese Ceramics and Sir Percival David Collections and Vietnamese Art in the Department of Asia at the British Museum.) A provisional booking for 30 people has been made. If you wish to join the visit, please complete the booking form at the end of the programme and return it with your payment.

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Please note that our Newsletter will be published later this year, in September, in time for Asian Art in London week.

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The Oriental Ceramic Society, London, invites applications for the George de Menasce Research Grant. The grant of £1,000 is intended to promote new research in the field of Asian art and to support specialized studies. The successful candidate will be required to read a previously unpublished paper on his or her research results to the Society, of a level suitable for publication in the Society’s Transactions. Applicants are invited to send a research proposal (maximum 200 words) with a short CV (maximum 100 words) to the Society, to arrive no later than June 30th, 2014. The winning candidate will be informed by September 1st, 2014 and will be asked to lecture to the Society in December of 2015.

Please send your application to Mary Painter at


Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts & Cultures and Centre for Japanese Studies, UEA

Thursday Lecture Series supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Charitable Trust. Admission free, advance booking recommended by phone 01603 597507 or email: Web site: Lectures start at 6:00 p.m. Venue: Norwich Cathedral Hostry (Weston Room), Norwich NR1 4EH

Islamic Art Circle at SOAS

Lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Khalili Lecture Theatre (Main School Lecture Theatre), Philips Building, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H OXG. For further information contact Rosalind Wade Haddon on 07714087480 or email to

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Ming and Qing Chinese Arts from the C. P. Lin Collection

3rd May to 28th September, 2014

Website: Tel: (852) 2721 0116


Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Tel: +44 (0)207 323 8181.

The Sir Joseph Hotung Centre for Ceramic Studies housing the Sir Percival David Collection of Chinese Ceramics; The Joseph E Hotung Gallery of Oriental Antiquities from China, India, South Asia and Southeast Asia; the Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries; Arts of Korea: The Korea Foundation Gallery; 7000 Years of Chinese Jade from the Collection of Sir Joseph Hotung: The Selwyn and Ellie Alleyne Gallery; The John Addis Islamic Gallery.

GEMS OF CHINESE PAINTING: A Voyage along the Yangzi River

3 Apr 2014 – 31 Aug 2014

This exhibition explores the culture and beauty of southeast China through 40 paintings and ceramics from the British Museum collections. China’s southeast, also called Jiangnan, stretches from the Lu Mountains eastwards along the Yangzi River to Shanghai, including historic cities such as Yangzhou, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing. Since the 3rd century, when Nanjing was made the capital of successive dynasties, Jiangnan gradually became China’s agriculturally most productive and culturally and intellectually advanced region.

This exhibition celebrates the re-display of the Museum’s best known Chinese painting, the Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies, in a new gallery space. The Admonitions scroll, traditionally attributed to Gu Kaizhi, is considered to be a close copy of the probably perished original from Nanjing. Free admission.

MING: 50 Years that Changed China

18 September 2014 – 5 January 2015 at the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery, the British Museum

This major exhibition will explore a golden age in China’s history. Between AD 1400 and 1450, China was a global superpower run by one family – the Ming dynasty – who established Beijing as the capital and built the Forbidden City. During this period, Ming China was thoroughly connected with the outside world. Chinese artists absorbed many fascinating influences, and created some of the most beautiful objects and paintings ever made. The exhibition will feature a range of these spectacular objects – including exquisite porcelain, gold, jewellery, furniture, paintings, sculptures and textiles – from museums across China and the rest of the world. Many of them have only been very recently discovered and have never been seen outside China.

In conjunction with the exhibition, an international conference entitled Ming: Court and Contacts 1400-1450 will be held at the BP Lecture Theatre at the British Museum on 9 October (starting at 14:00) and 10 and 11 October 2014 (full days). Tickets cost £45/£35 for the whole conference. For more information and to purchase tickets, please go to:

There will also be a full public programme for the exhibition, including the following:-

Friday 24 October lunchtime lecture by Frances Wood on The Forbidden City

Friday 14 November lunchtime lecture by Dr Elizabeth Lambourn on The Indian Ocean at the time of Zheng He

Friday 7th November, 18.30 a special performance by musicians from Zhihua Temple in Beijing who will perform centuries-old ritual music handed down over 27 generations.

More information will be available on the exhibition website in due course.


Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL. 0207 942 2000.

Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art and Design; T. T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art; Samsung Gallery of Korean Art; Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art.

The V&A will hold a Friday Late Korea on Friday 30 May 2014 from 18:30 – 22:00. This will be an event showcasing the vibrant contemporary art and design scene of Korea and will feature music performances, installations and workshops from young artists and designers alongside established figures in the Korean cultural field.

Please go to the V&A website - this page will be updated with the Korean event shortly.

Display: Silver from the Malay World

Room 66, 15th July 2013 – 30th October 2014

This display explores the rich traditions of silver in the Malay world. Intricate ornament drawn from geometry and nature decorates dining vessels, clothing accessories and ceremonial regalia. Silver from the Malay World features rarely seen collections acquired by three prominent colonial administrators, R.J. Wilkinson, R. O. Winstedt and Cecil Wray, who were stationed in British Malaya at the turn of the 20th century. The display also shows the V&A's first ever acquisition of Malay metalwork: electrotype copies of the Perak royal regalia commissioned by the Museum in 1887.


Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2PH. Tel: +44 (0)1865 278000. Fax: +44 (0)1865 278018

Open Tue. – Sun. and Bank Holidays, 10.00 – 6.00. Closed 24th -26th December and 1st January.

Khoan and Michael Sullivan Gallery

Michael Sullivan: A Life of Art and Friendship

11 March to 14 September 2014

Michael Sullivan, who died aged 96 in September 2013, was a leading scholar of Chinese art. He was also able to build up an outstanding collection of modern Chinese art through his life-long friendships with prominent Chinese artists who presented many inscribed paintings, prints, drawings or albums to him and his wife Khoan. Their collection has been bequeathed by Michael Sullivan to the Ashmolean, and this selection of works commemorates his long and fruitful life of art and friendship.


Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RB. Tel: 01223 332900. Closed Mondays.

The Oriental Gallery of Chinese and Japanese Art and the Gompertz Gallery of Korean Art.


12 Bennett Street Bath, BA1 2QJ: Tel. 01225 464640. Email: Web: Two new exhibitions will be on show until 29th June, 2014:-


This exhibition explores the idea of “treasure” and showcases objects that were highly regarded by different groups of people.

Eastern Voices in the West Country

An oral history project into the unexplored history of Chinese immigrants in Bath.

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The London Ceramic Fair organised by Prestige Ceramic Fairs will be held on Saturday 7th June, 2014, from 11:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Kensington Town Hall. For information email

Art Antiques London, a fair arranged by Haughton International Fairs, will take place from 12th – 18th June, 2014 in Kensington Gardens, opposite the Royal Albert Hall. For details go to or email to or telephone +44 (0) 20 7389 6555. Complimentary tickets available for OCS members.

Asian Art in London 2014 will take place from 30 October – 8 November, 2014, presenting an exciting programme of exhibitions, lectures and symposia, auctions, receptions and gala evenings. Gala Party - Thursday 30th October at the British Museum. Dealers’ late night openings: Kensington Church Street – Saturday 1st November; St. James’s – Sunday 2nd November and Mayfair – Monday 3rd November. Enquiries:,

Email: or telephone +44 (0) 207 499 2215.

Fine Art Asia 2014 will take place from 5th – 8th October, 2014, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. For complimentary tickets email or go to


Bonham’s, 101 New Bond Street, London W1S 1SR. Tel: 020 7468 8248

15th May Fine Chinese Art

15th May Fine Japanese Art

Bonham’s, Montpelier Street, Knightsbridge, SW7 1HH. Tel: 020 7393 3943

12th May Asian Art

Bonhams Edinburgh

2nd July Asian Art

Christie’s, 8 King Street, London SW1Y 6QT. Tel: 0207 389 2574

13th May Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

Christie’s, 85 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LD. Tel: 020 7930 6074

14th and 16th May Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1A 2AA. 020 7293 6442

14th May Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

18th May Chinese & Asian ceramics & works of art (in London)

Woolley & Wallis, Salisbury

21st and 22nd May Fine Chinese Ceramics And Other Asian Works of Art

Bonhams Hong Kong

25th May Fine Chinese Paintings, Classical, Modern & Contemporary Ink

25th May Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

25th May Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art

Christie's Hong Kong

28th May Important Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

Sotheby’s Hong Kong

26th May Snuff bottles from the Mary & George Bloch Collection, part VIII

27th May Playthings from the Collection of Edward T. Chow

Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Collections

Asian Lacquer

Bonhams New York

27th May Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

Christie’s Paris

13th June Art d’Asie

Sotheby’s Paris

10th June Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

Bonhams San Francisco

17th June Fine Asian Works of Art

18th June Asian Decorative Arts


Useful Links:  - Southeast Asian Ceramic Society, Singapore.  - The Oriental Ceramic Society, Hong Kong.  - The Oriental Ceramic Society, Portugal.  - The Asian Arts Society of Australia.  - The Museum of East Asian Art, Bath, U.K.  - The Oxford Ceramics Group, U.K.
  - The Oriental Ceramic Society of Sweden.   - Washington Oriental Ceramic Group   - Asian Art Society of New England   - The Oriental Ceramic Society, Norway

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(Registered Charity No. 250356)                Copyright of The Oriental Ceramic  Society  of London.

Patron: HRH  The Duke of Gloucester G.C.V.O