Traders: The East India Company & Asia

About Traders

Traders: the East India Company and Asia is a new permanent gallery exploring Britain’s maritime trade with Asia, focusing on the role played by the East India Company.

For over 250 years, the East India Company uniquely shaped trade between Britain and Asia. The gallery explores the influence of Company trade and power, tracing the changing relationships between Britain and Asia that this brought about.

This trade involved key commodities, different locations and many people. It had consequences that changed Britain and the world and still affect us today.

Visitor information

Hours: Open daily, 10.00–17.00 (last entry 16.30)

Location: National Maritime Museum, floor one - see floor plans

Admission: FREE

Traders: tea

The National Maritime Museum’s ‘Trade Routes’ project explored the history of tea, working with members of the Sehmi Day Centre in Plumstead, south-east London. This film is one of the results of the project and features the Juttla family.

Collections online galleries

Ten cash piece
This section looks at the Company’s spice trade with Indonesia following its foundation in 1600.
Fabric or throw
This section explores how the Company became a textile merchant to the world in the 18th century.
Chinese Export Porcelain Teapot - Ch'ien Lung period (1736-95)
By the late 18th century, the Company’s business focused on the tea trade with China. This trade also had a darker side: illegal opium...
Chinese Imperial Flag, circa 1857
Through a combination of war and rebellion in Asia and mounting criticism at home, the Company was brought to its knees in the 1850s.
Qibla indicator
A selection of objects giving a sense of the maritime world of Asia as an established centre of bustling trade and wealth.

Traders shop

Traders shop items