Side view, large hollow blue and white porcelain garden seat, Jingdezhen, 1573–1620 © The Trustees of the British Museum lent by kind permission of the Trustees of the Sir Percival David Foundation

A British Museum Spotlight Loan

A Ming Emperor's seat

Exhibition / -

Tour schedule

Manchester Museum
7 February – 19 April 2020

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter 
10 August – 21 November 2021

One of the largest porcelains in the Sir Percival David Collection at the British Museum – a beautiful blue and white glazed garden seat from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) – will tour the UK in 2020 and 2021.

This marks the first time that the seat has been lent to an external venue in the UK, presenting a rare opportunity to view the object outside of London as a British Museum Spotlight Loan. 

Crafted for the court of one of the longest-reigning of all the Ming dynasty emperors, the Wanli Emperor (r. 1573–1620), the seat gives an invaluable insight into Chinese court culture. Travelling to museums in Manchester and Exeter, each venue will display A Ming Emperor’s seat in a different context, ranging from the seat’s botanical connections to other cultures from around the world.

The loan follows on from the 10th anniversary of the arrival, on long-term loan, of the Sir Percival David Collection at the British Museum. In this time, this is only the second time an object has been lent from the Sir Percival David Collection, following a loan of one of the ‘David’ vases to the Shanghai Museum in 2012.

One of the foremost assemblages of Chinese ceramics in the world, the collection comprises some 1,700 objects, primarily ceramics dating from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, spanning 1,000 years.

Generously supported by the Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art.