Inventory no.: 1830

Silver Chinese/Vietnamese Grooming Set


Silver Grooming Set

Southern China or Vietnam

19th century

length: 57cm, weight: 53g

This fine silver grooming set is either from southern China or the ethnic Chinese minority of Vietnam. It comprises a long chain made up of interlinked prunus or plum blossom motifs which allows the set to be suspended from a belt; a central, hinged, open-work box in the shape of a stylised cloud and decorated with bat and dragon motifs and which probably served as a pomander allowing scented blossoms to be enclosed inside; and five grooming tools suspended from the pomander box on separate chains.

The tools comprise a nail cleaner,a toothpick, a pair of tweezers, a tongue scraper, and an ear cleaner. The tongue scraper is decorated with an open-work panel that incorporates two fish. The stems of three of the tools are embellished with fine, applied plum blossom and leaf decoration, although much of this decoration is deficient on one of the stems, perhaps from use.

Overall, this is an unusual and decorative set.


UK art market

Inventory no.: 1830


Detail of the tongue scraper.