This Nautilus shell is a reference to the cabinets of curiosity that emerged from the 16th century onwards. Because of the great voyages of discovery of that time, people came into contact with exotics, such as the Nautilus shell. The Nautilus is a type of squid, found in tropical waters. Most are found between Australia and Southern Indonesia. In the past some Nautilus shells were mounted and turned into fabulous cups. A wonderful example from the 16th or the beginning of the 17th century can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The first records of tea imported into Europe from the Far East date to the second half of the 16th century. When the consumption of exotic drinks became widespread, a clear relationship arose with adapted containers, such as porcelain. The decorations were created in an interaction between the demand in the area of consumption and the producers in Asia. In this way, consumers ultimately formed their own ‘fictional’ image of Chinese culture. This product shows such a hybrid image of ‘Chinese’ representations.