LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair 2016, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1, 13th – 18th September 2016
Now in its eighth year this popular fair is the place to find fine pieces from across all disciplines. It is therefore appropriate that this year there is a select group of highlights from the Chitra Collection which celebrates tea over the centuries through the vessels and other paraphernalia involved in its drinking and preparation.
This is the first time pieces from the collection have been shown in the UK and its curator Olivia Fryman has selected items that reflect the long history of this beverage. Starting with the beginnings of the tea story in China and Japan, we then pass on to the growing interest and consumption of it in Europe (Catherine of Braganza, Charles II’s wife, introduced tea to this country) in the 17th and 18th centuries and then go on to see how it played an important role in the story of the British Empire. The last piece of this story looks at the global interest, especially in Russia and America, and how tea became a part of everyday life for many.
The collection has been put together by the London-based businessman Nirmal Kumar Sethia, who says “The Chitra Collection will continue to inspire generations of tea lovers long after I’m gone. It is my wish that, for centuries to come, the world will be able to appreciate and experience the beauty and significance of tea, art and culture”. His interest has continued since he first started working as an apprentice tea buyer in London, aged 14. He started the luxury tea company Newby Teas in 2000.
There are in excess of 1700 tea-related objects in the collection which was named in memory of his late wife and I think you may agree from the selection illustrated here that it is a fascinating subject.