This fine and good-sized table box is both an excellent example of Chinese export silver and also of trade interest in that it has both the maker’s marks for Wang Hing to the base and Glasgow import markers and marks for the Scottish retailer Edwards & Sons, who were based in Buchanan Street, Glasgow, and who were a prominent importer of Chinese export silver into the UK.
The import marks are for 1895.
The hinged lid is repoussed with a scene of a judging deity holding court with many other figures in attendance, beneath pavilions and all within a grove of conifers, bamboo and weeping willows, and against an idealised, mountainous backdrop.
The long sides (front and back) have been decorated with pairs of dragons amidst clouds and separated by a flaming pearl. Unusually, the dragons are depicted as being partly behind some of the clouds.
Both ends have been decorated with stands of bamboo.
The corners are rounded rather than sharp.
Wang Hing was a firm that was active in Canton and Hong Kong in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and first quarter of the twentieth century.
The box is in excellent condition. The box sits evenly and the lid closes tightly all the way around and without distortions.
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.