Transferring and Substituting Tea and Colours

  • Hanna Hodacs
Part of the Europe’s Asian Centuries book series (EAC)


Late seventeenth-century accounts originating from the Philippines describe the province of Kuang-tung, (today’s Guangdong) as having a population of four million people and 60,000 looms producing wrought silk exported across the world.1 What the Europeans called Canton (today Guangzhou) is estimated to have had a population of 600,000; this large city was feeding off the regional (Guangdong) economy of sericulture and silk weaving as well as sugar, tea and tobacco production.2 As maritime trade between China and Europe came to converge in Canton in the first half of the eighteenth century its port became the staple place gathering all tea, silk and porcelain destined for export via European ships. Goods arrived at the tea and porcelain warehouses from East Central China, carried by human caravans across mountains, and along rivers on boats.3 Located in the harbour the warehouses were one of only a few places the Europeans were allowed to visit. The walled-in area, foreign quarters, within which Europeans were supposed to stay, contained the East India companies’ factories. Aside from shops and houses kept by the Chinese merchants, who also had dwellings in the city, there were workshops where silk, wallpaper, furniture, porcelain and other goods were embellished with paint, needle work, mother of pearl and lacquer.4


Cotton Textile Eighteenth Century Silk Textile East India Company Royal Swedish Academy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanna Hodacs
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Swedish Academy of SciencesStockholmSweden

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