A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century
Lot 163
A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover
By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century
Sold for £12,500 (US$ 16,960) inc. premium

Asian Art

22 Mar 2017, 11:00 GMT

Edinburgh

Lot Details
A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century
A large silver repoussé decorated box and cover
By Tai He, probably Bangkok, 19th century
Of lobed circular form and constructed in heavy gauge silver, possibly a dumplings/dim sum box, the cover divided into ten radiating panels, each with a differing design including; dragon, mahout on elephant, cranes, tiger and birds, around a central roundel depicting of a pair of fenghuang flanking a flowering tree peony, the cover sides and box sides each with ten further relief decorated panels of a similar nature, raised on three bracket feet, marked with workshop Bing Ji and maker Tai He,
16.5cm high, 22cm diameter, weight 70 troy ounces, 2172 grams

Footnotes

  • Footnote by Adrien von Ferscht.

    This box is undoubtedly an item of great importance within the context of the vast 285-year repertoire of Qing Dynasty Silver [aka Chinese Export Silver]. Indications are that the box was made in Bangkok - the method of construction using panels of silver, the heavy gauge of silver used and the solder work point to this. At the time of manufacture Siam [Thailand] was a vassal [tributary] state of China; Chinese silversmiths operated in almost all of the vassal states in the 19th century. While some experts would classify this box as being Straits Chinese Silver, I am always of the opinion that silver created in vassal states in the Chinese style is just as much "Chinese" as an item made in China-proper; I would classify this box as being Qing Dynasty Silver.

    Silver items made by Bangkok-based Chinese silversmiths were often created using particularly heavy gauge silver; at over two kilograms, this box is no exception and it is obvious that the artisan Tai He 泰和 was a master silversmith, making the workshop of Bing Ji 炳记 a purveyor of quality. Sadly, no other item from this maker has been documented, making this box a rare item.

    Adrien von Ferscht is considered a world expert on Qing Dynasty silver. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at University of Glasgow and is a Member of the Academic Committee of the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture at Beijing Normal University. His "Definitive Collectors' Guide of Chinese Export Silver" is recognised by the majority of auction houses around the world as the definitive guide to this highly complex silver category. His work is now recognised across China and is recognised by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage 国家文物局 under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture in the People's Republic of China.
Activities
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