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"The Gate of Heroes” - On the China Trail, by Lars Tharp

Luxury for the rich created by the effort of millions. Each year in the 1600s and 1700s millions of pieces - services, vases and ornamental wares - were shipped and portered over the mountain border into Guangdong province, passing through the aptly-named “Gate of Heroes”.


Since his 1986 debut on the BBC Antiques Roadshow (and all series since), Lars Tharp has spoken widely, within and beyond the UK. With over 40 years of experience in ceramics and other areas, he aims to combine several compelling narratives with enthusiasm and humour.

Born in Copenhagen, he studied Archaeology at Cambridge and joined Sothebys where, as a director and auctioneer (1977-1993), he specialized in Chinese and European ceramics. Today his consultancy devises and curates exhibitions, advises on the acquisition, care and disposal of ceramics and other fields.




From the mountains of Jiangxi province in far-off China, down river, over lake and mountain, and finally across oceans, 98 % of the Chinese porcelain on display in European museums, stately homes, palaces and personal collections are testimony to an epic journey and of monumental human endeavour.