New Book | Chinese Porcelain in Colonial Mexico

Posted in books by Editor on November 5, 2018

From Palgrave Macmillan:

Meha Priyadarshini, Chinese Porcelain in Colonial Mexico: The Material Worlds of an Early Modern Trade (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 198 pages, ISBN: 978-3319665467, £79 / $99.

This book follows Chinese porcelain through the commodity chain, from its production in China to trade with Spanish Merchants in Manila, and to its eventual adoption by colonial society in Mexico. As trade connections increased in the early modern period, porcelain became an immensely popular and global product. This study focuses on one of the most exported objects, the guan. It shows how this porcelain jar was produced, made accessible across vast distances and how designs were borrowed and transformed into new creations within different artistic cultures. While people had increased access to global markets and products, this book argues that this new connectivity could engender more local outlooks and even heightened isolation in some places. It looks beyond the guan to the broader context of transpacific trade during this period, highlighting the importance and impact of Asian commodities in Spanish America.

Meha Priyadarshini is Fellow at the Sciences Po Europe-Asia Programme in Le Havre, France. Her research and teaching interests include global history, material culture studies, colonial Latin American history, and art history. She earned her PhD from Columbia University and has held fellowships at the Getty Research Institute, the European University Institute, and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence.


Crafting a Global Brand: Jingdezhen and Its Artisans in the Early Modern World
From Junk to Galleon: Commercial Activity in Manila
A Parián in the Plaza Mayor: Making Space for Asia in Colonial Mexico
Blue-and-white Chocolateros: Crafting a Local Aesthetic in a Colonial Context
Conclusion: Themes from a Connected World

Vanessa Alayrac-Fielding’s review of the book for J18 (October 2018) is available here.


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