chinese silver plated box
chinese silver plated box
 
chinese silver plated box
 
chinese silver plated box
 

23. Silver Plated Chinese Decorated Box


'C. 1900'

I love this box. Not only does it have a very attractive design but the repousse work is of a high standard. Antique rectangular silver plated box featuring a gorgeous chased design of a bird on a branch in flower. Ornate feet. Secure closing top. The original lining has been removed and the interior stained black. A solid and quite heavy box. Electroplated silver, circa. 1900.

Chinese export silver was produced in China from the mid-18th to mid-20th century for a largely Western audience. It was made in the European style from melted Spanish silver (historically, the only currency Chinese merchants would accept for the trading of goods, such as tea, silks and spices, out of China), and falls largely into three periods: early-, late- and post-China Trade.


Condition: Very good. No damage. some areas of wear to the plate.

Dimensions: 15cm x 9cm.

Provenance: Ex. Property of a Cumbria estate, UK.

£60.00

Chinese Export Silver

Chinese export silver was produced in China from the mid-18th to mid-20th century for a largely Western audience. It was made in the European style from melted Spanish silver (historically, the only currency Chinese merchants would accept for the trading of goods, such as tea, silks and spices, out of China), and falls largely into three periods: early-, late- and post-China Trade.

In the mid-18th century, European trade with China was restricted to the port of Canton (now known as Guangzhou), which facilitated the collection of taxes on exported goods under the Qianlong Emperor, who reigned between 1735 and 1796. Although the West had been trading in Chinese silks, spices and teas for almost 150 years by this point, the market for Chinese export silver did not flourish until the 1750s, when the international trading value of silver fell dramatically. During this pivotal moment of trade between China and the West, traditional Chinese motifs were combined with Western-inspired forms to create new, highly desirable works of art. With its mix of Western forms and Eastern iconography, Chinese export silver reflects a moment of unique cultural exchange.

The best examples of Chinese export silver reflect the silversmiths' skill and mastery of techniques including casting, chasing and engraving. Virtuosic execution of complex decorative motifs on the finest objects reflects the high quality of work produced for foreign markets. Nearly all pieces of Chinese export silver are stamped with the marks of the workshop, or with pseudo hallmarks in imitation of English hallmarks. Ongoing scholarship into these hallmarks allows collectors to more confidently identify and group objects by style, region and producer, says Waddell.

During the early China Trade period (1785-1840), many Canton-based companies made silver that imitated Western silver in style and decoration. Sun Shing (1790-1885) and Wong Shing (1820-1860) are among the best known firms from this period. Broadly speaking, Chinese export silver from this period was of uniformly high quality and heavy weight, and was marked with initials and pseudo hallmarks in imitation of English hallmarks. Sun Shing is best known for its superb table silver. Early work is often marked with the initials 'SS' and pseudo hallmarks, while mid-19th-century work is accompanied by an ideogram.

WE/WE/WC mark - Canton, circa 1820-1880, also working in the early China trade period, is known for its superior table silver. The WE/WE/WC mark is an imitation of the mark used by English silver firm William Eley, William Fearn and William Chawner, and is a misread of its mark WE/WF/WC.

During the mid China Trade period (1840-1880), silversmiths began adding Chinese decorative motifs such as bamboo, dragons or warriors onto typically Western forms. Hoaching, which was also well known for carved ivory pieces, produced high-quality silver that is usually marked with a distinctive letter, referred to as the 'Lombardic H'.

Wang Hing originated as a jade dealer in Canton and evolved to become the best known and most prolific maker of export silver during the late China Trade period. Towards the end of the 19th century Wang Hing forged connections with Western silver firms and exhibited silver at international exhibitions. The firm later expanded to Shanghai, and opened a flagship store in Hong Kong in 1920.


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