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Title

Tea service, comprising teapot, creamer, sugar bowl and tongs

circa 1900


Artist

Unknown

China


About

While the tongs have two carved dragons on each arm ending with five-claw scoops, the other three utensils bear five-clawed dragons chasing flaming pearls in high relief hammered out of flat sheets of silver. The lid of the teapot is decorated with a coiling dragon raising its head as a knob. The handles are in form of bamboo branches.

Jiujiang is the name of a port in the southern Chinese province of Jiangxi that the Qing court was forced to open after China’s defeat in the Second Opium War (1861). The British officers in charge had silver currency collected as custom tax made into silverware for the western market by local Chinese silversmiths, such as those at the Tu Mao Xin workshop. While the forms were dictated by Western needs and tastes, the craftsmanship, techniques, and vocabulary of design were unmistakably Chinese.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012


Details


Place where the work was made

China


Date

circa 1900


Media category

Metalwork


Materials used

silver


Dimensions

a - teapot; 16 x 21 x 12.7 cm

b - creamer; 7.5 x 11.7 x 8.5 cm

c - sugar bowl; 6.6 x 16 x 9.6 cm

d - tongs; 11.8 x 3.1 cm


Credit

Gift from the J.H. Myrtle Collection 2003


Location

Not on display


Accession number

153.2003.a-d


Artist information

Unknown

Works in the collection

58


Place

Where the work was made
China

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


  • Dragon (2012), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Jan 2012–06 May 2012