Standing on Ceremony: Huabiao Pillars reworked as Amazing Silver Columns
中國出口銀器: 講究禮儀 Chinese culture is so enriched with allegorical imagery that one could almost say it is its very foundation. As with any world culture, it is an osmotic accumulation of influences from outside and within China over the millennia, manifesting itself in ceremonial and decorative objects in combinations that are themselves often wonders in […]
Silversmith Wang Hing didn’t have Breakfast at Tiffany’s!
宏興沒去過蒂芬尼吃早餐! For almost 30 years there has been a widely held view that the most prolific of the Chinese Export Silver makers, Wang Hing, was an acknowledged supplier of silver wares to the New York-based luxury goods company Tiffany & Company; it is probably the most oft-cited piece of information linked to Wang Hing and […]
The Clever Box: Small Containers offer Chinese Silversmiths Room to Astonish
中國出口銀器: 不凡的盒子! For Chinese artisans, boxes have always been more than mere utilitarian objects. Through the centuries, special decorative techniques were developed in order to make them extraordinarily special, while the amount of decorative detailing lavished upon boxes is often excessive, relative to the size of the object or the purpose it was made for. […]
Savoir Faire and ‘L’art De La Table’ – So Typically Chinese!
餐桌上的專業與藝術 – 典型的中國風格 A well-set dining table may be likened to a stage set; it can speak volumes about an occasion, the person who set it and it contains a plethora of subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) social messages. In short, it is the scenery that acts as a foil for the guests to […]
Chinese Export Silver Items Strike Gold at Heritage Auctions Sale
At the back end of August this year, the Dallas-based auction house Heritage Auctions had consulted with me regarding some items of Chinese Export Silver due in a mixed silver sale scheduled for Nov. 5. Officials from Heritage did it of their own accord, as opposed to my usual hectoring of auction houses to improve […]
Chinese Export Silversmiths were Masters of the Art of the Tazza
中國出口銀器: 藝術大師級的高腳盤子 It is equally perplexing to find the origins of the object we know as a “tazza” as to understand why Chinese silversmiths during the Chinese Export Silver period (1785-1940) both excelled at and took such obvious delight in making. The word itself means a cup or a vessel and is derived from the […]
Passing the Salt for 8,000 Years in Chinese Export Silver Style
中國出口銀器: 遞上鹽的格調 – 8000年了! To many of us, we might be aware of the connotations that salt has with monarchy—a substance of high value and denoting high status. We might also be aware of the connections of salt with the Romans; the very word “salary” being a derivative that traces its roots to the Latin […]
Chinese Export Silver Candlesticks are Lustrous Beacons of Excellence
中國出口銀器: 明亮的卓越之燈塔 Chinese Export Silver is without doubt the most mysterious silver category the world ever saw. Only now, more than 70 years after it faded into obscurity, are we beginning to understand some of the many enigmas; it’s the stuff of movies! As a silver category, Chinese Export Silver produced copious quantities of individual […]