• 3
    Dec

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. […]

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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 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 […]

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  • 15
    Nov

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 […]

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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 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 […]

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  • 27
    Oct

The Complex Hierarchy of the China Trade Relative to the Chinese Export Silver Trade

相對於中國出口銀貿易而言的中國貿易之複雜階級制度 Chinese Export Silver was very much a product of the China Trade, but the period between 1757-1842 is now known as the “Old China Trade.” Despite frenetic attempts by the Emperor to restrict European merchants, citizens and their trading to Macau, business began to spread throughout China. The Canton System was devised to control […]

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  • 21
    Oct

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 […]

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  • 8
    Oct

Canton Georgian Gems in Massachusetts: A Boston Connection to Chinese Export Silver

在馬薩諸塞州的廣東喬治亞風瑰寶 How can one get excited over a silver teapot? No, this isn’t a riddle; it’s a reality! For me, it’s happening more and more frequently as the flow of images being sent to me from around the world of extraordinary examples of Chinese Export Silver increasingly hit my desktop. Late last week a piece […]

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  • 7
    Oct

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 […]

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  • 25
    Sep

Takes a Cup of Kindness Yet: Chinese Export Silver Beakers

中國出口銀器: 我們一起真誠地舉杯 There are not many things the West and China had in common in the 18th and 19th centuries, but certainly one thing both cultures shared was a penchant for drinking alcohol. Alcohol and silver have always made a good marriage; silver has been used to elevate the consumption of alcohol to a higher […]

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  • 20
    Sep

The Ultimate Tea Ceremony: How the Custom of Taking Tea Influenced Silver Tea Sets

中國出口銀器: 終極茶道 Chinese Export Silver was very much a product of the China Trade, which in itself was a phenomenon born out of the long-established silk and tea trades between China and the West. Tea, like silver, is very much embedded into the Chinese psyche. Unlike in China, tea in the West in the 18th […]

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