This pleasing stand, tazza or sweetmeats plate comprises one large mother-of-pearl shell affixed to a thicket of lotus blooms and stems, all in finely cast and engraved silver. The original, pierced wooden base most probably carved from hongmu wood is also present.
The stand is affixed to the wooden base by means of a silver screw and nut, the top of which is disguised as a central, young lotus shoot, naturalistically rendered.
The shell is attached to the silver lotus stems beneath by silver screws the tops of which have been disguised as silver butterflies in flight, each one being finely engraved.
The lotus stems have all been lightly chased to emulate the spikiness or hairiness of the stems. Other than the leaves, there are two full and open lotus blooms, all rendered beautifully in silver, and a plump lotus bud.
The lotus stems rise from a domed silver base that has been chased with swirls to emulate churning water.
The stand is stamped to the side of the base with ‘WH90’ for the maker Wang Hing, and with a Chinese ideogram.
Wang Hing was a firm that was active in Canton and Hong Kong in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and first quarter of the twentieth century.
This fine and sculptural piece is in excellent and stable condition.
Chan, D.P.L., Chinese Export Silver: The Chan Collection, published in conjunction with the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore, 2005.
Forbes, H.A.C. et al, Chinese Export Silver 1785-1885, Museum of the American China Trade, 1975.
Marlowe, A.J., Chinese Export Silver, John Sparks, 1990.