Regina Krahl. Book Review: The RA Collection of Chinese Ceramics: A Collector’s Vision.
This massive and lavish publication introduces a large selection of an even larger collection – about 600 pieces out of a total of 2,000 – of mainly Chinese export ceramics. The collector’s identity is concealed behind the initials RA, but the unmistakable slant of the collection towards items connected with Portugal – where ‘RA’ is said to have made countless trips – and his reported interest in armorial dishes from the Brazilian Empire provide hints about his background. Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos, the world’s foremost authority on Chinese porcelain for the Portuguese market and currently director of the magnificent National Tile Museum in Lisbon, has already published several excellent catalogues on smaller collections of export porcelain. With the author being an experienced specialist, the collection one of the best of its kind, the collector generous with the time he allowed for research (the book took eleven years to mature), and the publisher aiming for a high standard, much was expected of this publication, and on these expectations it has essentially delivered.