• 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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  • 16
    Sep

When Sun Shone on Canton for 95 Years: From Georgian to High Chinese Style

中國出口銀器: 陽光普照著廣州城的那九十五年 I’ve been aware of some debate recently over referenced manufacturing periods for some of the Chinese Export Silver makers. I couldn’t agree more that some of the established dating requires review, especially given that far more information has become and is still becoming available since cataloguing first began in the 1960s. As my […]

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  • 6
    Sep

Treasured Kingfisher Feathers Give Chinese Export Silver the Blues

中國出口銀器也憂鬱 The striking iridescent blue of kingfisher feathers have been highly prized in China for at least 2,500 years. Their widespread use in hair ornaments and jewelry gave rise to their being acknowledged as symbols of feminine beauty, while the sheer reality that a kingfisher is an extremely small bird and difficult to either catch […]

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  • 30
    Aug

A Serious Case of Mistaken Identity Finally Revealed

中國出口銀器: 一個被錯誤辨認已久的身份終於被揭露了 There is no such maker as Kan Mao Hsing! This article is focuses upon a long-running case of mistaken identity of an important Chinese silversmith who has never been given the recognition he is rightly due. To understand why and how this happened, we need to remind ourselves of how the world first […]

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  • 25
    Aug

Pearl River Meets the East River over a Chinese Export Silver Box

珠江在一個中國出口銀盒上遇到了紐約的東河 For a nation that had been almost totally introspective to the point of being hermetically sealed off for hundreds of years, it never ceases to amaze me how inextricably linked the phenomenon that is Chinese Export Silver is to America, in particular the Eastern Seaboard. True, the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 opened up […]

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  • 16
    Aug

Chinese Export Silver: An Almighty Battle Royal over a Tea Set!

中國出口銀器: 一套茶具上的偉大戰役 Inundated though I am with images of Chinese Export Silver, both shared by others from around the world and unearthed by me in my research quest, not a week goes by without at least one specimen taking my breath away. Cape Town, South Africa, isn’t a city one would automatically associate with Chinese […]

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  • 9
    Aug

The Art of the Silver Cage Shows Creative Genius of Chinese Silversmiths

中國出口銀器: 銀籠子的藝術 Chinese Export Silver produced some extraordinary silversmiths by anyone’s standards; a much-used statement by me and one I am oft criticized about. There is an unwritten hierarchy of perceived best makers in the Western world in the 18th and 19th centuries; sadly, Chinese silversmiths were not even considered eligible to this exclusive virtual […]

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  • 2
    Aug

The Oddities, the Mysteries & Sometimes the Agonies of Chinese Export Silver

中國出口銀器: 奇異的, 神秘的, 也有時令人苦惱的 One of the many advantages of being known as carrying out in-depth research into Chinese Export Silver and its complex history is that I receive a huge number of images from people from around the world. The volume has increased as readership grows; a noticeable spike in the graph occurred when […]

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  • 26
    Jul

Chinese Export Silver Rosewater Sprinklers Created for the Islamic World

It was back in 2012 when I first wrote an article about Chinese Export Silver that was clearly made for the Islamic world. A year of further research has brought to light much more information; what was already an interesting niche in an even more interesting silver category has now become all the richer for […]

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  • 18
    Jul

Chinese Export Silver Design is Firmly Footed in Chinese Mythology

中國出口銀器: 牢牢紮根於中國神話 All cultures have their own mythological hooved beasts. The Etruscans had their Minotaur, European mythology has its unicorn, in Hebrew mythology there is the Re’em and in Egyptian lore there is the Cerberus. In China there is the Qílín (pronounced “Chhi-lin”). Antique silver and furniture have long been made standing on hoofed feet; […]

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