Observations and Reflections on a Tea Brick from Fuzhou
Of all the tea bricks at MAA, only one is embossed with the image of a dragon. What are the multiple meanings of this important Chinese symbol in this context, and what is its relationship to the tea brick?
30 May 2023
Tea and the Margaret Williamson Collection
MAA looks after at least 280 objects from Tibet and its surrounding Himalayan states, and 6,000 photographs donated by Margaret Williamson. But who was she and how did she acquire these objects?
25 April 2023
Lady Schuster’s Tibetan Tea
A collection was donated to MAA in 1947 by a Lady Schuster. But nothing is known about her nor the contexts in which her collection of tea objects was assembled. Who was she?
11 April 2023
A sample of loose leaf ‘Russian tea’
A small sample of loose-leaf tea raises more questions than can be answered: is it Queen Mary tea or Russian? Was it produced in Britain, Russia, or as the catalogue record suggests, in Tibet?
21 March 2023
Dragons, Monk’s Caps, and Butter Tea: The Duomuhu
What can drinking vessels tell us about historical changes and relationships? I explore the trajectory of one such vessel, a 多穆壶 (duomuhu), and what it tells us about the politics of the Chinese Empire.
7 March 2023
The Tea Horse Road: An Ancient Trade Route
Michael Freeman, photographer and author of the ‘Tea Horse Road: China’s Ancient Trade Road to Tibet’, explores the pressed tea bricks in MAA’s care and the longest trade route in the ancient world.
7 February 2023