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West Meets East: Documents of Cultural Influence and Impact

May 21 - August 28 2016

Mint Museum Randolph



Johannes Nieuhof. German, 1618-1672.

An embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperor of China : deliver'd by their excellencies, Peter de Goyer and

Jacob de Keyzer, at his imperial city of Peking: wherein the cities, towns, villages, ports, rivers, &c. in their passages from Canton to Peking are ingeniously describ'd. London : John Ogilby, 1673. Collection of The Mint Museum Library Gift of the Delhom Service League


Thomas Chippendale. English, 1718-1779.

The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director.

A Design for a China Case, Plate CXXXVII, 1762.

Copper engraving

Collection of The Mint Museum Library


Olfert Dapper. Dutch, 1639-1689.

[Arnoldus Montanus. Dutch, c.1625-1683.]

Atlas chinensis:being a second part of a relation of remarkable passages in two embassies from the East-India company

of the United provinces, to the Vice-Roy Singlamong and General Taising Lipov,and to Konchi, emperor of China and East-Tartary. London: T. Johnson for John Ogilby, 1671. Collection of The Mint Museum Library Gift of the Delhom Service League





Historian Robert Finlay has stated that “no other culture struck Europe with such concentrated force.... Chinese philosophy, government, art, architecture, and landscape design seized the imagination of Europe’s elite.” The books on display in West Meets East: Documents of Cultural Influence and Impact from The Mint Museum Library ‘s collection influenced, inspired,and documented the impact of Chinese culture on Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Translated into multiple languages, each title was a bestseller of its day, enabled by advances in printing, and an increasingly literate and leisured populace with a fierce desire for information about the exotic.  Jean-Baptiste Du Halde’s The General History of China (1736) contains a detailed description of the porcelain-making process enabling its wide-spread manufacture in the West. Atlas Chinensis (1671) and An Embassy from the East India Company (1673) include descriptions and images, both fanciful and factual, that influenced the shape, function, design, and decoration of ceramics, and even more broadly influenced Western fine and applied arts, specifically the rise of Chinoiserie in the eighteenth century. Today, these titles are quite rare and the Mint is one of the few cultural institutions in the South to have them all.  Very significant to the history of decorative arts, these volumes are hidden treasures until now, their first time on public view.



Selected Resources 






  • John Ogilby - the printer and publisher of the English translations of Atlas Chinensis (1671) and An Embassy from the East India Company (1673) 







Created by Joyce Weaver