A very impressive and rare George III / early American form Chinese Export silver tea kettle on stand, period 1842-1860.
Chinese Export Silver is the term used to identify solid silver objects produced mainly in Canton in the late 18th century, then in Hong Kong in 1842, and Shanghai in 1844. The earliest form of ‘export silver’ were flatware and hollow ware crafted in Georgian and early American forms for China Trade ship’s officers and the personnel of British and American China Trade companies to use aboard ship or in their Chinese port residences. Silver objects could be created of heavier metal and at lower cost than in Europe and America. Objects were built by Chinese silversmiths on an individual order basis using Spanish silver eight-real coins and later Mexican silver coins of the same weight. This coinage was a standard currency of international trade throughout the China Trade period.
During the 1840s there was a significant change in Chinese Export Silver from strict adherence to western forms to the production of western styled pieces decorated with repouse Chinese designs and decoration. As the China Trade grew and travel to China increased far more ‘Export Silver’ was produced in Chinese decorated motif than had been made in the strict Anglo / American form of the earlier China Trade period. For collectors of antique Chinese Export silver the scarce earlier Anglo/American pieces have always been especially sought after.
The tea kettle on stand with spirit burner is a scarce and impressive form in Chinese Export Silver. This beautiful example in classic Georgian / early American form is a great rarity (see “The Chait Collection Of Chinese Export Silver”, by John D. Kernan, Chait Galleries, NYC, 1985, page 18, fig., 1 ).
This tea kettle on stand bears the marks, on the base of the teapot and spirit burner, of Wang Hing – WH, 90, + Chinese maker mark – which was founded by the ‘Lo’ family in Hong Kong, China in 1842 and had become probably the largest firm of its kind by the end of the 19th century. Since export silver in strict Anglo / American style was being replaced by Chinese motif pieces in this period, very few Wang Hing objects have been found in the earlier style.
This substantial Wang Hing tea kettle on stand is modeled on Georgian and early American designs of the 1770 – 1820 period. Its only ‘Chinese’ touch are rings at the base of the spout and the spout’s tip modeled as a bird’s open beak. The handle is fitted with a turned grip Huang Huli (rosewood). The kettle bears an engraved owner monogram. The kettle rests on a Georgian ring form base with four well shaped legs ending in prominent feet and has two huang huli carrying handles with silver arms. The spirit burner is of Georgian form.
Condition: The piece is complete and in excellent condition. The kettle has a two very minor dents and very light handling marks. All surfaces have excellent surface and light patina. One huang huli handle on the ring base shows a scorch mark.
This exceptional Chinese Export Silver tea kettle on stand was recently discovered in southeastern Massachusetts and would occupy a prime place in a public or private collection of China Trade silver.
Dimensions: overall height 12 1/4″.overall kettle width 9″, kettle diameter 6″, weight:2.8 pounds including wooden handles.
Price: $4500.00 – SOLD