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A key highlight of the LAPADA Art and Antiques Fair 13-18 September 2016, will be the Chitra Collection, which is the world's most comprehensive and valuable private collection of teawares.

Returning for its eighth year to Berkeley Square in Mayfair, London, the event is the annual showcase for members of the presitigious antiques dealer association, LAPADA, to show their very best pieces to an elite clientelle in the plush surroundings of London's Mayfair district.  Some of the world's most coveted works of art, antiques, design and decorative arts are anticipated and the special exhibition of the Chitra Collection, is the first public viewing in the UK, having been shown only once before at the National Museum of Kazakhstan in 2015.

Chitra Collection

Tea in early China and Japan: 'Hare's Fur' tea bowl, China, Song Dynasty, (960-1279)

The collection, which comprises 1700 objects, reveals the fascinating history of tea and the rich material culture it has inspired.  Individual pieces from the collection have been valued at more than £1 million.

 Chitra Collection

Tea Comes to Europe: Silver-gilt teapot, by Adam Loofs, The Netherlands, 1701

Olivia Fryman, curator of the Chitra Collection, has selected objects that represent four crucial periods in the history of tea and the huge diversity of customs around the world, specifically the origins of tea in early China and Japan, the establishment of tea drinking in Europe in the C17th and C18th, the role of tea in the history of the British Empire, and finally its departure from being solely a privileged ritual of the elite and its evolvement into a central feature of everyday social and domestic life from the C19th onwards.

Chitra Collection

Tea & Empire: Tea Caddy, England, c.1750

The collection was amassed by Nirmal Kumar Sethia, a London-based collector and businessman, with the intention of preserving the history of tea.  His passion for tea stems back to his childhood as an apprentice tea buyer and later tea buying business owner.  He launched the high-end Newby Teas in 2000, and founded the Chitra Collection in 2011, naming it after his late wife. Sethia commented; “The Chitra Collection will continue to inspire generations of tea lovers long after I’m gone. It is my wish that, for centuries to come, the world will be able to appreciate and experience the beauty and significance of tea, art and culture”.

Chitra Collection

Global Tea Culture: Tea Caddy, Faberge, Russia, c. 1910

LAPADA Art and Antiques Fair will take place from 13 September - 18 September 2016, and the Chitra Collection will be on display throughout the duration, with tours hosted by Olivia Fryman and Amber Turner, the curator and assistant curator, on Tuesday 13th September and Saturday 17th September 2016.

For more information on the exhibition LAPADA London Art & Antique Fair.