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The Reception and Value of Chinese Porcelain in Habsburg Spain

  • Cinta Krahe
Chapter
Part of the Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context book series (TRANSCULT)

Abstract

Spanish interest in Chinese exotic products was clear from the very beginning of colonization of the Philippines in 1571, when access to the sources of supply became much easier through the Manila galleon trade. However, only a few pieces of Chinese porcelain for Spain dating to the Habsburg period (1517–1700) are preserved in private or non-Spanish collections. This presents a stark contrast to King Philip II’s collection of Chinese porcelain, which in its day was the largest in Europe. Sadly, nothing is known to have survived from that great collection, which held a little more than 3000 pieces, and although the inventories of some Spanish Habsburg monarchs, noblemen, and other individuals reveal that some of them had considerable amounts of Chinese porcelain, other great Spanish collectors of the period had no interest in Chinese porcelain at all. This article will examine the occurrence of Chinese porcelain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Spain through key records in different Spanish archives in order to establish the concept, reception, appreciation, use, and monetary value attributed to Chinese porcelain in the general context of the decorative arts in Spain.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cinta Krahe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AlcaláMadridSpain

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