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30NADFAS REVIEW / WINTER Home 1757-1857', based in theGlobal History and Culture Centre at theUniversity of Warwick, recognises thevalue of such knowledge. Its aim is toexamine how Asian goods, such asChinese export porcelain and Indianchintzs, were acquired and deployed inthe country houses of the English,Scottish and Welsh governing classes.The project team lead by ProfessorMargot Finn and assisted by Dr HelenClifford, Post Doctoral student KateSmith and PhD student Ellen Filor, arecalling on NADFAS members to helpthem in the quest for case studies ofcountry houses that contain Asiangoods, where these exotic commoditiescan be linked to archival evidence oftheir acquisition, care and use.THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ANDTHE COUNTRY HOUSE INTERIORThe activities of the East India Company,and those who traded alongside it, werethe chief means by which these Asiangoods entered British homes. Since itscreation in 1600 by Royal Chartergranted by Queen Elizabeth I, the EastIndia Company changed the world'stastes creating new trading places andcommercial routes. The Warwick projectwill focus on the hundred years betweenClive's victory at Plassey in 1757 to theoutbreak of the Mutiny of 1857, whenBritain's empire on the subcontinent wasadministered by the East IndiaCompany. By the late 1750s, its'servants' enjoyed unprecedentedaccess to Asian goods, through bribes,ceremonial gifting, private commerceand the spoils of war. Together with theCompany's official cargoes of Indian andChinese commodities, these goodshelped to transform British homes.Company families were themselvesessential channels for the disseminationof eastern luxury objects into westerndomestic interiors. They played a crucialpart in the shaping of British countryhouse interiors as the purchasers ofstately homes, as patrons of artists andcraftsmen in India and Britain, asarbiters of Oriental fashion, as givers ofAsian gifts, and as the source (throughbequests, marriage portions andinvestment) of new commercial wealththat sustained flagging landed fortunes. The Warwick project will examinevarious houses in an attempt to revealthe detail of how goods were selected,where they came from and how, whatmeanings they had, and how theseAsian porcelains, furniture, lacquer, wallpaper and metalwork combined with thecurrent regional and national tastes ofthe time. For example, one task couldfind out how General George Harris(1746-1829), who had defeated theSultan of Mysore at Seringapatam in1798, displayed his Indian treasures atBelmont House in Kent, his home from1801. Another might examine how SirAbove:Porcelainbowls whichbelonged toCaptain JamesCook (1728-1779) and hiswife Elizabethc1770EAST INDIA COMPANYPhoto: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London; by kind permission of The Trustees of the Harris (Belmont) Charity; Martyn Gregory Gallery, London