Chinese Export Silver 1785–1885 (Hardcover, Limited Edition)

By H.A. Crosby Forbes, John Devereux Kernan, and Ruth S. Wilkins

Condition: Very Good

All books are in Very Good condition. Minor cracking around edges of jackets, may have minor discoloration on some pages and outer hard case. Slight variations in wear from book to book, but all maintain Very Good condition.

From the inside jacket:

This long-awaited study, the result of ten years of dedicated scholarship and painstaking research, has the distinction of being the first full-length work in its field. So lucidly written that it can be enjoyed by the general reader, it is yet so comprehensive that it serves the special needs of the scholar. Historians, museum curators, students of Western decorative arts, Orientalists, art dealers, and auctioneers, collectors and connoisseurs, as well as gold- and silversmiths will find it indispensable. Issued in a handsomely designed limited edition, it is destined to become a collector's item as surely as it will stand as the definitive work in its field for many years to come.

Chinese Export Silver 1785 to 1885 recounts the loss and rediscovery of this silver and reveals the Chinese craft traditions from which it developed. It examines the sources of silver available to Chinese craftsmen, the fineness of the silver, and its manufacturing costs. Labeling, packaging, transportation, and the amount of silverware exported annually are also discussed. The luxurious life of Chinese and Western merchants for whom the silver was often made, the role of the "Independent" of "Outside" merchant as manufacturer and seller, and the relative importance of various regional centers of production are all presented with an immediacy derived from wide knowledge of contemporary sources. The text concludes with helpful pointers on identification.

Readers will find this book of great assistance in identifying a wide range of objects. The full catalogue descriptions of nearly 300 objects; the more than 300 illustrations, including ninety illustrations of makers' marks; the special Index of Makers and Marks, comprehensive general index, extensive bibliographies, and full documentation make this an ideal reference work.

While main emphasis is on silverware produced during the century following the arrival of American traders in China, the scope of the work is actually wider. Gold wares and jewelry are also presented. In addition, for the first time in any publication, text and illustrations explore silver produced for export during the previous century (1685 to 1785), and also continue the story down to 1949. Lovers of antique silver will discover here a new field of silver remarkable for its richness, variety, and scope; at the same time they will note that a number of examples, previously thought to be of Western manufacture, can now be attributed to Chinese makers. Admirers of both Chinese and Chinese Export art will find her a new vantage point from which to view these related fields.

Chinese Export Silver 1785 to 1885 is a publication of the Museum of the American China Trade, an institution devoted to the study of early East-West trade and to the fuller understanding, through research and exhibitions, of the enduring artistic legacy of that trade.


Pages: 303


Publisher: Museum of the American China Trade; Limited Edition, 1975

Dimensions: 9" x 11.6" x 1.5"


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