"Seventeenth-century Chinese Porcelain, Further Research, New Discoveries through an in-depth study of the Butler Collection"

When Sir Michael Butler died in 2013, his collection of seventeenth-century Chinese porcelain was the largest and most famous in the world of its kind. Despite being well documented and exhibited, more than half of the 850 pieces had not been published until the recent book by the speakers titled Leaping the Dragon Gate: The Sir Michael Butler Collection of Seventeenth-Century Chinese Porcelain. The collection’s comprehensive nature allows for comparisons of manufacture, shapes, decorative styles and motifs across time. In an in-depth study, the authors have drawn together multiple sources of evidence and new research not only to better classify and understand the Butler collection but also to discuss the wider story of seventeenth-century Chinese porcelain production and consumption.

These two talks will present the most significant and interesting fruits of the research as well as discussing the history and importance of the Butler collection.

Teresa Canepa is an independent researcher and lecturer in Chinese and Japanese art, and currently a council member of the Oriental Ceramic Society in London and co-editor of the OCS newsletter. She completed a PhD in Art History at Leiden University, The Netherlands, and is author of Silk, Porcelain and Lacquer: China and Japan and their trade with Western Europe and the New World, 1500-1644 (Paul Holberton Publishing, London, 2016); and Jingdezhen to the World: The Lurie Collection of Chinese Export Porcelain from the Late Ming Dynasty (Ad Ilissvm, London, 2019). She has published a number of articles and lectured widely on these subjects.

Katharine Butler, a fellow OCS council member, is an entrepreneur and business woman. She has an MA in History of Art from Edinburgh University and worked closely with her father cataloguing and researching the collection. She has been studying and collecting seventeenth-century Chinese porcelain ever since, co-authoring this catalogue raissoné with Teresa Canepa.