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Chinese export fruit ladle

Date: c 1840
160 x 60 x 55 mm
Medium: Metal ; Silver
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Ladle
Object No: 00040677

User Terms

    This silver fruit ladle was exported from China and features an open-work bowl. The handle has five pseudo hallmarks that were commonly used by English silversmiths, including the lion passant and the crowned leopard's head. During the 19th century, China produced comparatively cheap high quality versions of European domestic wares for export to a western market. The Chinese makers would copy western styles and often imitated the marks of European makers.
    SignificanceThis piece is representative of Chinese export silverware carried by American merchants between China, Australia and America in the mid 19th century. Silver was a prominent product in the China trade during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
    HistoryWestern merchants from America, Australian and Europe were active in the trade with China during the 19th and 20th century. They brought back on ships items inlcuding metal domestic wares, paintings, furniture, carvings and tea. The exportation of silverware objects has been less acknowledged than other materials as Chinese artists commonly used pseudo-marks on their manufactured wares, making it difficult to distinguish them from products made in Europe or America.

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