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Tang Dynasty Parcel-Gilt Silver Plaque in Early French Frame

Tang Dynasty, circa 8th century

length of silver: 16.4cm, width of silver: 3.7cm, length of frame: 41cm, height of frame: 26cm



UK art market; and marked as having been acquired in 'Pekin' (Beijing) in 1901.

This fine band of silver has been chased and tooled and then partly (parcel) gilded with a dragon, a turtle, and a long-snouted pixiu-type creature which is likely to be associated with good fortune and wealth, all against a finely ring-punched background.

The work is very typical of the silverwork of the Tang Dynasty (7th-10th centuries).

The silver band has been mounted against red velvet in a French oak frame.

The reverse of the frame retains a large, old label for a framing company in Toulouse, France which probably dates to the early 20th century. There is also a handwritten label (in French) which says that the plaque was obtained in ‘Pekin’ (Beijing) in 1901.  It is accompanied by a white label in handwritten Chinese which translates as ‘Tang Dynasty’ and a stamp in red ink.

The frame and its various labels provide important evidence for the plaque’s provenance.

Both the plaque and frame are in fine condition.


Gyllensvard, B., Chinese Gold and Silver in the Carle Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1953.

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