In this study, Emily Byrne Curtis explores as her subject lenses, spectacles, aventurine glass, and windows found in China from the sixteenth century. She traces their technological development back to the glassworks in Murano, Venice, and explores their significance in terms of Venice's commerce with China. Because glassware also figured among the gifts which three papal legates from the Vatican presented to the Kangxi and Yongzheng emperors, the author examines many documents from the archives in Rome and the Vatican; the study therefore touches, to an extent, on the history of the Catholic Church in China. Curtis also discusses in the volume some contemporary Chinese references and verses to European glassware, and in the case of enamel materials, she discloses the pronounced effect their use had upon the decor of Chinese porcelains.
Glass Exchange Between Europe and China, 1550–1800