Show Summary Details

Page of

 Printed from Grove Art Online. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

Subscriber: null; date: 21 October 2019

Addis, Sir John M(ansfield)locked

(b London, June 11, 1914; d Pembury, Kent, July 31, 1983).
  • Margaret Medley

English diplomat, collector and art historian. In 1947, as a member of the British Diplomatic Service, he was posted to Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, then the capital of the Nationalist Chinese government. He became interested in Chinese art and history and began a collection of porcelain, furniture and textiles at a time of political and economic uncertainty, when Chinese collectors were forced to sell. When he moved to the British embassy in Beijing in 1954 he continued his research into Chinese ceramic history with the help of specialists from the Palace Museum. In 1963 he became British ambassador to the Philippines and was largely responsible for organizing the Manila Trade Pottery Seminar (1968), to which he also contributed five of the nine discussion monographs. From 1972 to 1974, as British ambassador to China, he played an important part in promoting the Chinese archaeological exhibition The Genius of China, held in London at the Royal Academy in 1973–4, the first comprehensive exhibition of Chinese archaeological discoveries to be held in Europe. He contributed a number of valuable papers on underglaze copper red decorated wares to the Oriental Ceramic Society, London, of which he was president from 1974 to 1977. He gave most of his important collection of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain to the British Museum, London, together with a bequest that was used to establish the John Addis Islamic Gallery, and bequeathed his valuable textile collection and unique pieces of Chinese furniture to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He was a trustee of both the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he also served on the advisory council.


  • ‘Some Buddhist Motifs as a Clue to Dating’, ‘Shu fu Type Wares Excavated in the Philippines’, ‘Some Ch’ing pai and White Wares Found in the Philippines’, ‘Early Blue and White Excavated in the Philippines’, ‘Underglaze Red Discovered in the Philippines’, Manila Trade Pottery Seminar: Manila, 1968, nos 1–5
  • Exhibition of Chinese Blue and White Porcelain and Related Underglaze Red (exh. cat., Hong Kong, City A. Mus. & Gal., 1975)
  • Chinese Ceramics from Datable Tombs and some other Dated Material (London, 1978)
  • Chinese Porcelain From the Addis Collection: 22 Pieces of Jingdezhen (Chingtechen) Porcelain Presented to the British Museum (London, 1979)