Set of six antique Chinese export silver openwork bowls fitted with cranberry coloured glass liners. Each is prettily embossed with a different flower or plant - Chinese iris, peony, chrysanthemum, Chinese rose, cherry blossom, bamboo.
Chinese export silver was produced in China from the mid-18th to mid-20th century for a largely Western audience, made in the European style. With Western-inspired forms new, highly desirable works of Chinese export silver were created, with a mix of Western forms and Eastern iconography. During the mid-China Trade period (1840-1880), silversmiths began adding Chinese decorative motifs such as bamboo, dragons or warriors onto typically Western forms. Cranes and dragons are extremely popular motifs. For many thousands of years dragons have symbolised wisdom, harmony and prosperity in China, and in ancient Chinese culture, they represent imperial power.
Wang Hing originated as a jade dealer in Canton and evolved to become the best known and most prolific maker of export silver during the late China Trade period. Towards the end of the 19th century Wang Hing forged connections with Western silver firms and exhibited silver at international exhibitions. The firm later expanded to Shanghai, and opened a flagship store in Hong Kong in 1920.