Emu in Chintz, 2010

White porcelain with cobalt-blue pencil drawing and 24ct gold foil on stopper

Height 11cm (4 3/8")
Width 9cm (3 1/2")
Depth 3cm (1 1/8")


Private Collection, London, 2020


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More about Emu in Chintz, 2010

The 18th and 19th centuries saw an increase in world trade that ushered in the Age of Wonder when scientists and artists accompanied voyages of discovery to exotic new lands to return with images of the people, their art and craft and sometimes with live animals and plants. Europeans were hungry not only for new foods, tea, and spices, but also stories of travelers to the so-called New World who would publish their work in the illustrated newspapers of the day. An increase in popularity of Indian chintz by 18th and 19th century Europeans created a problem for competing English cotton mills, so much so that at one stage Britons were banned from wearing the decorative and colourful fabric. Along with Indian tea, it was one of the East India Company’s most traded goods. Exotic animals such as kangaroos and emus also began to appear in Indian and Chinese trading ports, as live specimens were sent on to Jamrach’s Menagerie of London.

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