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Bringing heaven to earth : silver jewellery and ornament in the late Qing dynasty

Author: Elizabeth Herridge; Frances Wood
Publisher: London : Paul Holberton Publishing, 2016.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Shining a light on a little-known area of Chinese decorative arts from 1850 to 1930, this lavishly illustrated book presents dazzling jewellery from an important private North American collection. Immortals, dragons, magpies, monkeys and bats populate this pioneering book on Chinese jewellery of the late 19th to early 20th century. In so many aspects, these exquisite objects - made with silver, jade, tourmaline,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Elizabeth Herridge; Frances Wood
ISBN: 0995557705 9780995557703
OCLC Number: 1008463194
Description: 200 pages : colour illustrations ; 28 cm
Responsibility: Elizabeth Herridge ; with a foreword by Dr. Frances Wood.

Abstract:

"Shining a light on a little-known area of Chinese decorative arts from 1850 to 1930, this lavishly illustrated book presents dazzling jewellery from an important private North American collection. Immortals, dragons, magpies, monkeys and bats populate this pioneering book on Chinese jewellery of the late 19th to early 20th century. In so many aspects, these exquisite objects - made with silver, jade, tourmaline, amethyst, rock crystal, rose quartz, carnelian and serpentine -- reveal a previously unexplored journey, not just from Heaven to Earth but from the West to the East and back again. The appeal of the jewellery is more than just aesthetic, and their varied design and decoration speak of the social, religious, economic and political climate of their time. Their period of production, from the Late Qing dynasty through to the 1930s, is one that has been insufficiently explored by historians as a whole. This was the time when the Treaty Ports attracted foreign residence and tourism, when Western visitors flocked to Shanghai and Peking to buy Chinese souvenirs, and when fashionable young Chinese of the Republican period embraced aspects of foreign life and design. Many of the pieces naturally reflect Chinese designs and motifs, particularly in the bold association of colours, their use of re-purposed carved plaques and the emphasis on luck-bearing emblems. Western influence creeps in, however, in the form of secure box-and-tongue clasps and the occasional maker's or retailer's names, as well as stamps such as 'Chinese sterling'. Do these makers' marks suggest that the items were produced for export or do they simply represent a nod to modernity?"--Publisher's description.

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