China Room

Among the earliest examples of China Trade luxury goods were porcelains, brought back to Lisbon by Portuguese traders during the 16th century. During the next two centuries: the Dutch, Swedish, Danes and British shipped vast quantities of porcelain to Europe. Eventually, private trade also included a large quantity of paintings – sets of watercolors showing the occupations of the Chinese, and large oils on canvas of ships and ports such as Canton, Shanghai and Hong Kong emerged in the marketplace. Fine examples of hardwood and lacquered furniture was imported throughout Europe, Great Britain and the United States, which began actively trading in China shortly after Independence. Today, extensive collections of China Trade decorative arts and paintings are in the galleries of the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The Marc J. Matz Collection exhibits examples from all of these mediums and periods.