This superb and very pleasing Chinese export silver bowl is of low but wide form and sits on three beautifully-rendered pierced and engraved foliate feet.
The bulbous sides are decorated with six panels each worked in applied relief with different plant and flower motifs. One panel includes a spray of rose blooms; the rose being very much a Western bloom and rarely seen in Chinese decoration even on Chinese export silver. Possibly, this suggests that this bowl was a one-off commission. Other flowers include the iris, chrysanthemum, bamboo, lotus and plum blossom. Included also is a stork or egret and humming birds. One panel also features a black armorial cartouche.
The mouth is marked by a flared rim with reinforced scalloped edging.
The base is marked with ‘Yok Sang’ and a Chinese ideogram. Yok Sang is a rarely published and known maker, but the name is suggestive of Cantonese, so the firm most probably was based in either Guangdong (Canton) or Hong Kong.
The bowl is in excellent condition. The form is unusual, and the quality is impressive.
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.