CHINESE EXPORT SILVER: “Sailing into the tiger’s mouth”

The SHING WO [SHENG HE] 和勝 artisan silver workshop in Canton was probably the most masterful in creating detailed miniature items of silver; a much-overlooked area of late Qing and Republic era Chinese silver-making. What the West would probably call a “junk boat” finds its roots back in the Han dynasty; the Qing dynasty equivalent […]

Qing Dynasty Silver Meets the Ancient Art of Penjing 清代銀器遇上古代盆景藝術

Bonsai [kanji 盆栽] has become known across the Western world as well as much of Asia, yet as an English noun it has only existed as a dictionary word since 1950 describing, in the main, the rather enigmatic world of individual miniature trees that have been painstakingly clipped and trained; it has morphed into being […]


Auction houses are ideal platforms for judging buying trends which by default would also include prevailing values. In a recent sale at Dreweatts in the UK, 39 Chinese Export Silver delivered some surprises; it goes without saying that the majority of buyers were from China. The trend at this sale and recently at other auction […]


THE INFLUENCE OF THE TRIADS ON THE DECORATIVE ARTS IN CHINA  三合會對中國和香港的裝飾藝術之影響 Style, the demand for style and the supply of style is an extremely fine-tuned, complex equation that only requires a small weakness in one element and the equation is compromised. Style icons are also an essential factor in creating a momentum for style […]


CHINESE EXPORT SILVER AND THE ENLIGHTENED RENAISSANCE   中國出口銀器: 被啟蒙的文藝復興 Chinese Export Silver always adapted to the realities of Chinese history; it was, after all, a product of that history,as such, it has qualities that no other silver category possesses. Viewed in the overall context of China, it is an excellent indicator of prevailing historical […]

META-MUSEUM: CHINESE EXPORT SILVER – The Glasgow Connection 中國出口銀器: 格拉斯哥的聯系

#ChineseExportSilver There are more similarities between the port cities of Glasgow and Canton in the early 19th century than one might think, apart from the obvious fact they were both thriving port cities where the very existence of each city was inextricably linked to the port. By the 17th century, both Canton and Glasgow had […]

META-MUSEUM: CHINESE EXPORT SILVER – The 19th Century Phenomenon Equivalent to the iPad! 中國出口銀器: 十九世紀的相等於今天萍果平版的現像

  The 1842 Treaty of Nanking broke the habit of a lifetime; after over 2500 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 […]

META-MUSEUM: CHINESE EXPORT SILVER – 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

CHINESE EXPORT SILVER: 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 […]


To many people it will seem incongruous that a 19th century Chinese silversmith in Canton would have created a megillah, but it’s not as strange as it initially appears. Albeit that Chinese megillot are rare, they come with what any megillah has – a long story. But this time it’s not just the scroll contained […]

META-MUSEUM: WANG HING – Discovering the True Identity of a Genius 宏興: 發現一個天才的真正身份

Since the discovery of Wang Hing & Company by Crosby Forbes in the 1960’s, the name has become synonymous with Chinese Export Silver, yet virtually nothing was known about the company. This is a historic moment: for the first time in the research of this unique silver category, the true name of the family behind […]

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