Silver is a plentiful raw material in China, so it’s been widely used in decorative objects, from boxes to bowls, since the 7th century. Beginning in the Tang Dynasty, silver alloys of lead or tin were cast and hammered into countless shapes. Floral patterns, engraved or chased on plain surfaces, were common throughout the Yuan Dynasty, but silver was less prevalent during the Ming Dynasty, when paintings, lacquerware, jade, and porcelain dominated.

Beginning in the 18th century, the exports of Chinese silver to the West started to rival those of Chinese porcelain. By the early 1800s, Chinese silversmiths were producing silver jewelry and flatware, as well as teapots, trays, vases, and other examples of traditionally Western tableware. Indeed, some Chinese pieces from this era were so faithful to their sources even the English hallmarks were copied.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

You can get happily lost searching through the 10,000 or so objects on the Asian Art Museum's website. For example,… [read review or visit site]

Chicago Silver

Chicago Silver

Paul Somerson's incredible reference on handwrought metalwork from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the ear… [read review or visit site]

Silver Marks Encyclopedia

Silver Marks Encyclopedia

An extensive reference guide to silver marks, hallmarks, trademarks and maker's marks found on antique and vintage … [read review or visit site]

Gotheborg.com

Gotheborg.com

Jan-Erik Nilsson's extensive reference on antique Chinese porcelain. Jam-packed with information (e.g. on porcelain… [read review or visit site]

Silver at the Victoria and Albert

Silver at the Victoria and Albert

This is a great reference site on silver, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum. You can view silver items acc… [read review or visit site]

The Gilbert Collection

The Gilbert Collection

The late Sir Arthur Gilbert's collection of European silver, gold, enamel, and other items is now housed at the Vic… [read review or visit site]

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

“Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj” was the title of a 2008 exhibition at Columbia University’s Mi… [read review or visit site]

TheStieffCompany.com

TheStieffCompany.com

Scott Perkins is an enthusiastic evangelist for The Stieff Company, a significant Baltimore silversmith and maker o… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Art Deco Chinese Sterling Silver Apple Green Jade Bird Floral RingFine Old Antique Chinese Carved Coral Silver Floral Branch Pendant PinAntique Chinese Gilded Silver Kingfisher Feather Butterfly Floral Brooch PinAntique Chinese Gilded Silver Filigree Enamel White Jade Ruyi Brooch PinLarge Lot Of Antique Chinese Silver Metalware EtcChinese Export Silver Scholars Box Wang Hing C1890 Antique Chinese Gilded Silver Filigree Natural Mediterranean Salmon Coral Ring Antique Handmade Chinese Cabochon Jade & Sterling Silver Ring, NrAntique Art Deco Chinese Natural Jadeite Jade Silver Cabochon Ring Signed No ResFine Old Antique Chinese Carved Open Work White Jade Silver Enamel Butterfly PinLot Of Chinese And Asian Silver Picture Frames Bracelets Ring EtcAntique Chinese Export Hand Made Dragon Sterling Silver Bowl By K.w 161.2 Grams Nice Old Chinese Silver Dish Plates With Jade Bangle Rims - YamanakaVintage Chinese Gilt Sterling Silver Filigree Turquoise Butterfly Brooch Estate Chinese Gilt Silver Carved Agate Pearl Amethyst Turquoise Snuff BottlesNice Vintage Signed Chinese Silver & Carved Coral Ring With A Bird & Flowers Stunning Antique Chinese Carved Coral Mounted Silver Filigree Dress Clip 20th CLarge Antique Chinese Apple Green Jadeite Jade Sterling Silver Ring [0721]Fine Old Chinese Carved Amethyst Pheonix Bird Floral Big Snuff Bottle Silver TopChinese Export Silver Tea Caddy Dragon Wang Hing Big Antique Old Chinese Silver Filigree Dragon Red Ruby Stone Eyes Pin BroochChinese Export Silver Flask Wang Hing C1890 Estate Lot Chinese Carved Stone Silver Coral Turquoise Mounted Snuff BottlesChinese Empire Silver Dragon Dollar Year 3 (1911)Antique Luen Wo Chinese Export Shanghai Sterling Silver Mug Cup Very DetailedAntique Fine Old Chinese Export Silver Sterling Urn Censer Dragon Pagota SignedChinese Export Sterling Silver Antique Mug Decor Bamboo And BirdsAntique Vintage Chinese Gilded Silver Filigree Enamel Jade Tourmaline Brooch PinChinese Export Silver Foo Lion Box Retracting Cover SignedVintage Mary Gage Sterling Silver & Chinese Carved Turquoise Brooch Pin, 20th C.Superb Antique Chinese Silver Tea Strainer - Wang Hing - Dragon & PearlEstate Lot Chinese Carved Rose Quartz Jade Enamel Silver Pendants NecklacesAntique Sterling Silver Chinese And Cornelian Ring Vintage Sterling Silver - Heavy Antique Chinese Dragon 43.6g - Hair Sticks Az724Chinese Export Silver Dragon Box Rare Maker Mh Antique China Chinese Silver Cloisonne Carved Oxen Bone Jewelry Set 1930's NrEstate Lot Chinese Silver Coral Jade Enamel Reverse Painted Snuff BottlesAntique Vintage Chinese Gilded Silver Filigree Carved Apple Green Jade Ring Exceptional Vintage Chinese Silver Filigree Enamel Turquoise PendantAntique Pair Of Signed Chinese Export Silver Boxes With Matching Flower VasesAntique Vintage Chinese Gilded Silver Filigree Carved Apple Green Jade Ring Curio. Antique. Chinese Solid Sterling Silver Enamel Jeweled Peafowl Antique Vintage Chinese Silver Filigree Apple Green Jadeite Jade Bat Peach RingStriking Chinese Export C1900 Dragon & Jade Sterling / Solid Silver Tea StrainerFine Old Antique Chinese Sterling Silver Cloisonne Cinnabar Lacquer Fish PendantAmazing Antique~sterling Silver Japanese/chinese Lotus Flower Spoon~figural~!Brand New Kidrobot The Simpsons Simpsons Homer Buddha 7in - Silver New Chinese Asian Antique Chinese Export Enamel 800 Silver Monkey Buckle Lock Pendant - NrAntique Wang Hing Chinese Hong Kong Export Silver Dragon Menu Name Card HolderChinese Export Silver Salt Duck In Water Signed 94 & CharactersAntique Chinese Carved Apple Green Jade Enamel Gold Gilt Sterling 925 Pin BroochTwo Antique Chinese Export Silver Novelty Cruet Stands Wang Hing Rickshaw CartsVintage Size 9 Silver And Coral Men's Ring Tibet Chinese Nepal 19gAntique Silver Asian Bamboo Tea Strainer Ls Hallmark Chinese Japanese 800 FloralChinese Export Silver Dragon Bowl Martial Arts HcAntique Chinese Scholars Silk Embroidered & Silver Pouch Silk Robe Pouch TobaccoAntique Luen Wo Chinese Export Shanghai Sterling Silver Cup Very Detailed BambooVintage Chinese Export Silver & Carnelian Adjustable Buddha Ring~10.5gAntique Silver Chinese Snuff Box Pill Stamp Carved Turquoise Flower EngravedChinese Silver Bronze Handwork 2 Peacock Shape Vases W Ming Dynasty Xuande Mark