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 ‘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sweets but also the elaborate rituals of hospitality enacted over the partaking of meals – these objects, hitherto unpublished and under-researched, are laden with the complex socio-cultural history of their times.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 ‘east’ and the homes of…

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