Welcome to the new online home of The Chitra Collection. The launch of our new website is timely, because this month a selection of notable pieces from the collection will be on display at the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair in central London. This is the first time The Chitra Collection has been on public display in the UK.

Four themed collections have been curated for the event, each one based around a key period in tea history. Chitra Collection Curator, Olivia Fryman, explains further:

“The pieces we have chosen for LAPADA reveal both the importance and diversity of tea-drinking customs across the world. Our first theme is Liquid Jade, exploring the origins of tea in early China and Japan.

According to Chinese legend, the mythical Emperor Shen Nung, who is thought to have ruled around 5000 years ago, encouraged the cultivation of tea after discovering its health giving properties. By the time the first book on tea, The Chájīng, was written in 780 AD, the drink had spread to Japan where its preparation was ritualised in tea ceremonies.

Next, Tea Comes to Europe focuses on the establishment of tea drinking in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. The craze for tea led to a demand for Chinese and Japanese porcelain teawares that initially could not be replicated by European potters. At the same time, European artists and manufacturers strove to create their own tea accoutrements to suit Western tastes and drinking habits.

Our Tea and Empire selection explores the important role of tea in the history of the British Empire; the cultivation of new tea plantations in India, the Opium Wars and the American Revolution.

And finally, Global Tea Culture showcases a selection of teawares produced in Europe, Russia and America during the 19th century when tea gradually became a feature of everyday social and domestic life, rather than an elite ritual enjoyed by the privileged few”.

LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair runs from 13th-18th September 2016. Olivia and our Assistant Curator, Amber Turner, will be conducting tours of the Chitra Collection exhibition at 4pm on Tues 13th and Sat 17th. You can reserve your place on either tour in advance, by emailing

For more details and to book your tickets for the fair, please visit

Exhibition in The Republic of Kazakhstan

In 2015, the first public exhibition of The Chitra Collection was staged at the National Museum of Kazakhstan in Astana.


The grand opening of the exhibition was attended by a number of prominent figures from business, politics and international affairs, who joined Founder of The Chitra Collection, Nirmal Sethia, and his family, to appreciate a selection of almost 100 of its notable pieces.


Attracting in excess of 400,000 visitors, the exhibition’s 3-month residency was warmly received. People from all over the world came to view the collection and learn more about the fascinating history of tea.


Here are some of their visitors’ comments:

“Beautiful exhibit. Very impressive. Thank you so much for this”.

“What a wonderful collection. I am so happy that the museum is able to show it. Thank you to all who helped bring it here and display it”.

“Thank you so much for such an opportunity – to see all these brilliant things!”

“It was a great pleasure to see this amazing exhibition. Thank you for sharing these masterpieces with a tea-loving country like Kazakhstan. We wish to see this exhibition more worldwide”.