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  • 28
    Jan

The Longest Tea Party the World’s Ever Seen! Part 2

中國出口銀器: 有史以來最長的茶具 之二 [caption id="attachment_2518314" align="aligncenter" width="483"] A rather serene and idealistic vision of Chinese tea being brought to a junk boat that must be moored at Honam Island, with the 13 Factories buildings on Shameen Island of the foreign merchants are directly opposite.[/caption] We continue the story of the inextricable link between the China Tea Trade and...

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  • 21
    Jan

The Longest Tea Party the World’s Ever Seen! Part 1

中國出口銀器: 有史以來最長的茶具 之一 [caption id="attachment_2518160" align="alignleft" width="324"] The tea clipper Loudoun Castle is unloading at the East India Dock in London on Dec. 8, 1877. The tea trade was essential in developing the market for Chinese Export Silver.[/caption] My research has long made me aware of the inextricable links between The China Trade period and Chinese Export Silver;...

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  • 13
    Jan

Chinese Export Silver: The Cultural Crossovers of Incense

中國出口銀器: 中外文化結合的香! [caption id="attachment_2518006" align="alignright" width="318"] Here we have a particularly fine pair of spill vases by Wang Hing circa 1890, taking the form reticulated dragon in clouds cylinders standing upon three splayed dragon head feet that display an unusual attention to detailing. The vases have Bristol blue liners; probably made in England since blue glass was not...

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  • 1
    Jan

Chinese Export Silver: Culture Shock!

[caption id="attachment_2517819" align="alignright" width="240"] I recently received some criticism about an article I wrote after which I lost it, Joan Rivers-style.[/caption] 文化震撼 I have chosen to start 2014 with a rant! Please humor me while I do… For two years now, I have been striving to increase both the awareness and understanding of Chinese Export Silver by writing...

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  • 12
    Dec

Standing on Ceremony: Huabiao Pillars reworked as Amazing Silver Columns

中國出口銀器: 講究禮儀 [caption id="attachment_2517468" align="alignright" width="321"] These silver huabiao are the first I’ve ever encountered. They were made by a Beijing silversmith by the name of Bao Xiang, a silversmith I have to say I’ve never previously encountered, yet obviously a silversmith of significant skill.[/caption] Chinese culture is so enriched with allegorical imagery that one could almost say...

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  • 9
    Dec

Silversmith Wang Hing didn’t have Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

宏興沒去過蒂芬尼吃早餐! [caption id="attachment_2517261" align="aligncenter" width="523"] Audrey Hepburn from "Breakfast at Tiffany's." 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. But is it true. I now believe...

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  • 3
    Dec

The Clever Box: Small Containers offer Chinese Silversmiths Room to Astonish

中國出口銀器: 不凡的盒子! [caption id="attachment_2517146" align="aligncenter" width="456"] This late seventh-century Tang Dynasty silver gilt box from Shaanxi Province takes the form of a six-lobed flower decorated with a finely hammered surface upon which repoussé, ring punched and chased decorative motifs are applied, embellished by mercury gilding. It is hard to fathom this box is 1,300 years old, yet it...

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  • 22
    Nov

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 [caption id="attachment_2517053" align="aligncenter" width="435"] This stunning pair of Chinese Export Silver épergnes appeared last month at auction in New York at Bonhams by the master of table art, Wang Hing.[/caption] 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...

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  • 15
    Nov

Chinese Export Silver Items Strike Gold at Heritage Auctions Sale

[caption id="attachment_2516929" align="aligncenter" width="465"] This splendid, lidded and standing cup, carries a mark of a retail silversmith we only know by the initials MLW. Yet this particular cup also bares the “chopmark” of the actual silver workshop that created it, in this case identifiable as Sheng Chang who, importantly, is a “known” maker, especially by Chinese aficionados. It...

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  • 1
    Nov

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 [caption id="attachment_2516554" align="alignright" width="300"] A tazza does not have to be grand and imposing, as this rather sweet small example by Hung Chong shows. The delicate fretwork chrysanthemum motif signifies longevity. The plain circular central motif could well be a “wish granting” pearl.[/caption] It is equally perplexing to find the origins of the object we know...

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