The Swedish East Indiaman, 'Gustaf Adolph', did not make it to Canton in the winter of 1784-85, but had to sit out the storms of the South China Sea in the Yalong Bay of Hainan Island, south of Macao, until she could sail again at the end of April. A very small group of mugs commemorating this experience are known, one in the Nordiska Museet, Stockholm. See Kee Il Choi, 'A Chinese Export Painting as China Trade History', Orientations magazine, April 2003. Edward Eckenhoff grew up in a collecting family, and after he and his wife, Judi, were married, they began to acquire good quality American furniture. Chinese export was a perfect corollary. In time, Ed became fascinated with the quality and rarity of Chinese export porcelain mugs and decided to focus on this singular category, which would allow him to build a strong, representative collection of objects that were not only beautiful but that also told the many stories of the China trade. Beer, ale and cider-drinking was extremely common in the 18th century, viewed as nutritious alternatives to water. Chinese porcelain mugs were drinking vessels for the elite, often ordered in sets of three. Special orders included those for guilds, livery companies, public houses and, of course, armigerous families.
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Chinese Export Art Featuring Property from the Tibor Collection
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