An image of Tea service, comprising teapot, creamer, sugar bowl and tongs

Unknown

(China  – )

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

Location
Not on display
Further information

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

Place of origin
China
Period
China: Qing dynasty 1644–1911
Year
circa 1900
Media
Metalwork
Medium
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
Accession number
153.2003.a-d