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This magnificent Chinese export silver centrepiece designed to sit on a grand table is by the Shanghai maker Tuck Chang, which operated in the last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century.
It features a large, wide bowl, which stands on a baluster-form stem decorated with three cast dragons.
The bowl is in the form of an open bloom of three large petals, each chased with either bamboo (for resilience), plum blossoms (for new beginnings) and chrysanthemums (which bloom through the frost), all against a lightly hammered background. The panel of plum blossoms includes a pair of birds, and the chrysanthemum panel incorporates a blank armorial cartouche.
The foot is domed and decorated with three panels each chased with blooms including one with a finely rendered bird. The central lobe of the baluster form stem also has been chased with sprays of plum blossoms against a tooled background.
The centrepiece retains its original carved and pierced blackwood stand.
This exceptional piece is in excellent condition, as is its stand.
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.