Inventory no.: 774

Chinese Export Silver – opium-style box


Chinese Export Silver Lidded & Lobed Box by Da Ji

Probably Guangdong, China

circa 1900

height: 5.5cm, diameter: 6.5cm, weight: 65g

This small, lobed box with a hinged lid is repoussed with flowers against a fine, punched background. The lobes are decorated with alternating plum and peony blossoms and the lid has a single, large chrysanthemum blossom.

The intended purpose of this box is unclear, if indeed there was one. Opium sets in a similar style are known so possibly it was made as part of an opium set but otherwise, it might well have been made as a box of generic purpose.

The box is marked to the base with the characters for ‘Da Ji’. Literally, this means ‘Big Safety’ and is most likely a retailer’s or maker’s brand name which is essentially a ‘Best wishes’ or ‘Good luck’ formulation. Possibly, this piece is connected to the well-known maker/retailer Wang Hing. Many Wang Hing pieces are stamped with the ‘Da Ji’ workshop mark, indicating their origins from that particular workshop.


Acquired from the UK art market.

Inventory no.: 774