Posted 8 years ago
I have had this nearly thirty years now. It came from a market out west in Sydney Australia. Originally it would have been bought at the premises of HUNG CHONG and Co., 11B Nanking Road, Shanghai.
It is in two pieces.
The box itself is made of cardboard but lined in beautifully pleated white silk. The lid is a pincushion covered in a purple velvet, The true colour of the velvet can only be seen when the lid is open. The lid is missing its lining revealing the structure of the sewn velvet lid.
The silver box is a case for the cardboard box and lid.
Notice the curve in the rectangular sides.
The silver box is decorated with a repoussé design of chrysanthemums against a finely stippled background. The shield on the front of the box has been left vacant. It has four sterling silver globe feet.
It bears the HC mark of HUNG CHONG and Co. There is another mark too that I believe is the Chinese character "Shang". I do not know of its significance but I have seen the same mark on another Hung Chong chrysanthemum pattern box.
The quality of the silver work is outstanding.
It would date to c. 1905.
"The wonderful proficiency of the Chinese in the manufacture of gold and silver work, jewellery, ivory carvings, black wood and inlaid furniture, silk, embroidery, etc., finds, an excellent demonstration in the large stock in the premises of Messrs. Hung Chong and Co. The range of beautiful articles exhibited here is an epitome of the highest achievements of Chinese skill and art, and affords a splendid selection to those on the outlook for choice specimens of the most superior goods associated with the race. Here can be obtained articles which the best connoisseurs would value, while there is. a great abundance of wonderfully cheap curios and fancy goods of all kinds within the reach of the most limited exchequers, and eminently suitable for birthday or wedding presents."