This magnificent Chinese export silver centrepiece for a grand table sits on its original, carved and pierced, hardwood stand which has been tailored to precisely fit the centrepiece the three feet of the centrepiece slot into custom-made cavities in the stand.)
The centrepiece sits on three feet cast as dragon heads with applied silver components. The base is wide and domed and chased with multiple dragons against a tooled background.
The stem or column is of baluster form and rises to a wide, central lobed dish from which emerges a tall, fluted vase. The stem i s hollow, pierced and chased with leaves and flowers.
The column, dish and fluted vase are all pierced with the dish and vase being decorated with matching panels of pairs of dragons, plum blossoms, bamboo and so on.
The fluted vase retains its original hand moulded clear glass vase insert.
The item does not have a clear or legible maker’s mark. There might have been one – there is some rubbing to where one might have been.
Overall, it is a magnificent item of a type of Chinese export silver that is now very difficult to come by.
Both the centrepiece and the extravagantly-carved stand are in excellent condition. The glass insert for the fluted vase also is in excellent condition being free of chips or cracks. It also fits into the vase perfectly.
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.