The Southeast Asian Ceramic Society was founded in 1969 in Singapore to widen appreciation and acquire knowledge of the ceramic art of China and countries adjacent to China, especially those of Southeast Asia. To pursue this aim, members meet for periodic discussions, to hear talks by both local and international experts, and to study and compare ‘pots’.
New: Shipwrecks of Southeast Asia!
Next time you come across a reference to a shipwreck and aren’t quite sure which one (or where or when) it was, just click Resources: Shipwrecks of Southeast Asia (on the menu above) and you’ll find our handy quick reference of the most important shipwrecks of SEA (with details of their cargos, especially if they included ceramics). Search away!
Our 9 May 2021 programme: From Tourist Traps to the Trenches: English Crested Porcelain and the First World War
When W. H. Goss of stoke-on-Trent began to make small, white-glazed porcelain models decorated with coats of arms for the mass market, he turned Brits into ceramic collectors. Come learn the story of English crested porcelain and the role it later played in engendering patriotism during the First World War across Britain.
Our guest speaker, Dr. Alexander Nicholas Shaw, was the society’s guest speaker during its 50th anniversary in 2019 as he is a historian and editor of Malcolm Macdonald’s memoirs. He is also a ceramic collector and returns to us via ZOOM from the UK to share with us this fascinating story as well as his collecting experiences. For more information, download the event flyer here.
Members will receive an email with the ZOOM log-in one week prior to the event.
Start here to learn about Southeast Asian Ceramics:
Benefits to Joining the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society (SEACS):
Monthly programmes held on ZOOM with both local and international experts on a wide variety of programmes related to ceramics and collecting. See our line-up of current and past programmes here.
For local members (Singapore or regionally-based), two or three hands-on ‘handling sessions’ to learn how to identify correctly the ceramics you may own or be considering purchasing
For local members, an annual ceramics and book sale, featuring items de-accessioned from members’ collections, plus many hard-to-find, out-of-print books on ceramics
For all, access to an extensive online collection of relevant articles and research materials related to ceramics. Begin exploring here: RESOURCES and SEACS PUBLICATIONS.
SEACS also sponsors a number of annual student memberships for full-time university and graduate students who have a professional interest in the study of ceramics. Click here for the application form.
Coming 3Q 2021 - Our Annual Members' Sale
Coming 3Q 2021 – SEACS’ Annual Ceramics Sale featuring ceramics de-accessioned from its members’ collections plus books, articles and magazines relevant to the study of ceramics. Terrific bargains are to be had and all to help support the society’s projects and activities. Open to the public. Date to be announced shortly. Who knows what you may find. Did you see the article about the “Porcelain Bowl Bought at Yard Sale for $35 could sell at Auction for $500,000”?
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO...
We organised our first exhibition at the University of Singapore Art Museum in 1971. This landmark exhibition consisted of 350 examples of Khmer, Annamese and early Thai ceramics, drawn largely from the university collection, curated by Mr William Willetts, who was the museum’s curator at the time. A substantial number of pieces also came from the collections of our first president, Mrs. Helen Ling, and other early members including Don Sinclair, Dr. & Mrs. Earl Lu, K. T. Goh, S. R. Parker, Professor & Mrs. K. J. Ratnam, and others.
The historian John Guy has noted that this “presentation of the then little known ceramic tradition of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam caused a stir amongst the oriental ceramic cognoscenti.” Furthermore, that “the Willetts pioneering Catalogue for the Society inspired a generation of younger scholars and stimulated the interest of government archaeological departments throughout Southeast Asia.” As a consequence, ceramic societies were to emerge in ensuing years in West Malaysia, Jakarta, Manila and Hong Kong, following the lead of the Singapore chapter.
The Society holds an annual William Willetts Lecture, held immediately after the Society’s Annual General Meeting. Click here for a list of our distinguished William Willetts lecturers since its inauguration in 1999.
The Society reinforces its online presence through the digitisation of some of its publications. You will find them on our publication pages.
In 2019, the Society celebrated its 50th anniversary, the same year Singapore commemorated its bicentennial. Join us as we enter our sixth decade. Members needn’t be collectors, just interested in the various roles ceramics play in history, trade and culture. We are open to all from beginners to academics to specialized collectors.
You can connect with us on Facebook, where our activities, many open to the public, are updated on a regular basis.