Rituals of Hospitality : Ornamented Trays of the 19th Century in Greece and Turkey

by Penny BroJacquie

This is an exhibition I visited today and I found it quite interesting!

Yia Su!

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This The Benaki Museum exhibition focuses on a group of fascinating, multi-faceted 19th century objects from the field of the decorative and applied arts: the ornamented trays produced during the Indian summer of the japanning industry in Europe, which are today prized treasures of private and museum collections in Greece and Turkey.

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Once an essential part of the rituals of daily life in the Ottoman empire and the newly founded Greek Kingdom – the serving of coffee and syrupy β€˜spoon’ sweets but also the elaborate rituals of hospitality enacted over the partaking of meals – these objects, hitherto unpublished and under-researched, are laden with the complex socio-cultural history of their times.

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This exhibition aims at an inter-disciplinary reading which looks into their iconography and function, the techniques of manufacture and places of production, the commercial routes that brought these coveted wares to the β€˜east’ and the homes of…

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