• 28
    Jun

The Influence of the Triads on the Decorative Arts in China

Incongruous as it may seem, the tumultuous changes in the social order in China and Hong Kong in the early 20th century would probably not have occurred without the behind-the-scenes activities of the Triads. In China, they were highly visible, some becoming style icons in their own right; in Hong Kong they were an ever-present […]

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  • 5
    Jun

Chinese Export Silver and the Enlightened Renaissance

Chinese Export Silver always adapted to the realities of Chinese history. It was, after all, a product of that history, as such, that it has qualities that no other silver category possesses. Viewed in the overall context of China, it is an excellent indicator of prevailing historical events at any given time. That a de-facto […]

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  • 22
    May

T’ou Sè Wè Orphanage was the Birthplace of Chinese Modern Creative Arts

That a Jesuit orphanage and school in Shanghai founded in the 19th century should be the cradle of modern creative art in China is extraordinary in itself, but it is firmly rooted in a significant Jesuit presence in China since the mid-17th century and the profound influence it had on the Imperial court. The same […]

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  • 13
    May

Chinese Export Silver: The East-West Divide

中國出口銀器:東西方的分裂 Worthologist Adrien von Ferscht investigates the dichotomy of preference by Chinese collectors of Chinese Export Silver for items in the high Chinese style over the earlier, neo-classical pieces of the late 18th and early 19th centuries; silver that admirably demonstrates to extraordinary skill of Chinese silversmiths to produce work that was totally “foreign” in […]

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  • 14
    Apr

The Enamel Revival Phenomenon and its Relationship to Chinese Export Silver

中國出口銀器: 琺瑯的復興現象 The art of cloisonné is often looked upon as a Chinese art and, in some respects, it is a correct assumption. However, cloisonné, as a technique, finds its roots back in the 13-century B.C. Mycenaean era and the Mediterranean—or at least the earliest known examples are to be found there. Since this is […]

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  • 10
    Apr

The Important Glasgow Connection to Canton and Chinese Export Silver

中國出口銀器: 格拉斯哥的聯系 There are more similarities between the early 19th-century port cities of Glasgow, Scotland, and Canton, China, than one might think, apart from the obvious fact they were both thriving port communities where the very existence of each city was inextricably linked to the business being done in the harbor. By the 17th century, […]

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  • 25
    Mar

Chinese Export Silver: The 19th-Century Phenomenon Equivalent to the iPad!

The 1842 Treaty of Nanking broke the habit of a lifetime; after more than 2,500 years, China could no longer be the closely guarded introspective nation it had been. But even with the enforced opening of the fortress-like doors, the treaty was in reality more of a fissure rather the hoped-for wide open gateway that […]

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  • 17
    Mar

The Huge Influence of the Early 20th-Century Chinese Department Stores

中國出口銀器: 二十世紀初中國百貨公司業的巨大影響 Department stores were first introduced to China in the late 19th century but they came in the guise of foreign chains or investors who were doing nothing more than trying to establish lucrative colonial implants that had previously appeared on the Indian sub-continent and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. In Shanghai, the first stores […]

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  • 14
    Mar

Chinese Export Silver Offers a Cabinet Full of Charming Curiosities

中國出口銀器: 珍奇百寶屋 Sometimes I have to pinch myself; I must be one of the luckiest people on the planet because I get to see so many beautiful objects very single day. I am also lucky that Chinese silversmiths had a wicked sense of humor, which they often expressed in the objects they created. Other times […]

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  • 7
    Mar

Wang Hing: Discovering the True Identity of a Silversmithing Genius

宏興: 發現一個天才的真正身份 The 1842 Treaty of Nanking became the catalyst for many changes in Canton; not only had a new order had been established in the China Trade itself but Chinese Export Silver went through a rapid metamorphosis. What had been faithful high-quality copies of the neo-classical Georgian style were transformed into overtly traditional Chinese […]

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