Unusual Silver Goblet by Wang Hing
Guangdong/Hong Kong, China
late 19th century
height: 20cm, weight: 287g
This very unusual goblet of thickly cast silver is by Wang Hing, a firm that was active in Guangdong and Hong Kong in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Its principal address was at 10 Queen’s Road, Central in Hong Kong with a branch at 1 Sai Wang Hing, Guangzhou (Canton) in 1919 (Marlowe, 1990, p. 72).
The goblet is cast as several plum or prunus trees. The stem is made up of the thin trunks of the small trees. The foot is cast as a circular mound on which the roots of the trees spread out. The otherwise unadorned cup of the goblet rises out of a thicket of plum or prunus blossoms.
The goblet is stamped ‘WH’ for Wang Hing on the side of the foot.
It is a whimsical piece. The nearest published parallel is a seemingly smaller goblet in Forbes et al (1975, p. 200, fig. 124). It follows the plum/prunus blossom, stem and root motif but is unmarked and attributed to circa 1860.
UK art market
Forbes, H.A.C. et al, Chinese Export Silver 1785-1885, Museum of the American China Trade, 1975; Kernan, J.D., The Chait Collection of Chinese Export Silver, Ralph M. Chait Galleries, 1985; Marlowe, A.J., Chinese Export Silver, John Sparks, 1990; & Chan, DPL, Chinese Export Silver: The Chan Collection, published in conjunction with the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore, 2005.
Inventory no.: 1136