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《中国电镀史》中的几个问题

去年(2014)年9月出版的新书《中国电镀史》(马捷主编,化学工业出版社)既提供了一些珍贵史料,也存在不少待商榷之处:


1)13页,称“国外对电镀的研究和应用……一般认为是始于1837年”,然后作者还依此得出,人们是在1836年丹尼尔电池出现后,观察到阴极沉积现象,方才尝试研发电镀技术的。而既然法拉第在1834年就提出的电解定律,阴极沉积现象为人所注意,理应由来已久。实际上,人们想到利用电镀技术,是在1800年伏打发明原初态的电池之后,具体时间最迟不晚于1804年,1805年已在实验室内成功实现了小规模的电镀金。1837年则已到了该技术即将步入工业应用的时代了。


2)27页,除了上面引文还是“爱尔金顿”,下面转述就变“爱而金顿”之类的错误之外,“Elkigton兄弟于1840年获得世界上第一项镀银专利”也是很不严谨的,其问题有三。一则,Elkington错拼为“Elkigton”。二则,1840年埃尔金顿们并非获得专利,而是购买了伯明翰当地一外科医生约翰·怀特的专利(英国专利第8447号)。三则,这项专利显然不会是第一项镀银专利。如从整个表面工程行业的角度看,英国的第一项镀银专利应是在19世纪初期(即刚出现专利注册制度时)申请获批的谢菲尔德镀银技术相关专利。如仅从电镀业看,8447号是否是最早的,也存在疑问。不但埃尔金顿兄弟本身在1836~39年连续获得过与镀金银有关的专利(未必都是电镀领域的),同时期关注电镀技术的许多科研人员和企业家也都有取得过专利。


3)28页,当时(1877年前后)“该厂电镀电源已不再用蓄电池,而改用发电机”。这是纯粹从中国行业的历史发展来推断英国电镀业的情况。实际上伯明翰人伍里奇在1842年就发明了电镀专用发电机并取得了专利,至1844年已装配出可实际用于生产的电镀发电机。1846年伍里奇的专利转到埃尔金顿公司手里以后,使用埃氏电镀技术的英法各地大厂几乎很快就都开始采用发电机了。谁让提出电磁感应原理(发电机的基础)的法拉第本身就是英国人呢?


4)54页,“上海最早的金银首饰厂是1852年创办的老凤祥银楼”。这里问题有二,其一是至少在1773年上海就有杨庆和,1783年就有庆云,1829年就有裘天宝,老凤祥不是最早的。其二,最初的上海凤祥的开业时间能追溯到1848年,而非1852。


5)80页,据民国中期某资料称,“洋装首饰成本低廉,多以铜质制造,一经电金、电银,即甚悦目”,作者因而得出广州商家中“出售纯金、纯银首饰的称为‘唐装’,出售镀金镀银首饰的称为‘洋装’”,并进一步由此推断称,旧时广州的洋装金银首饰器皿工会(即立本堂)是镀银器行会(见295页)!实际上,当时唐装首饰多为传统纯金饰品,洋装首饰多为K金(多镶宝,时人称之为洋镶)饰品,民国以后,白金和镀金银类等受西方影响而引入的新式首饰,也均归入洋装一列,其中镀金银的铜饰甚至一度颇为风行。但不管是唐装的兴和堂,还是洋装的立本堂,都是金银匠人的组织,这是无容置疑的,否则两者缘何能共拜胡靖祖师,后来又怎能合并成一家呢?

 

Tags: 电镀 表面工程 镀银器 银器 金银器 首饰 书评

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Some Comments of Chinese Silver in 1757 to 1948

There were some confusion on Chinese Export Silver (CES, or Chinese Trade Silver) and Straits Chinese Silver. The introduction of a new phrase, Chinese Domestic Silver, makes things more unclear for some people. I now try to clarify some situations about the gold, silver and jewelry industry in China during middle 18c to 1940s.


1. Commercial gangs / factionalist economy in neoteric China

Ancient China is a typical agrarian society. For different reasons, some people had to leave their hometowns and acted as merchants. They would help their countrymen each other when they went to other cities to peddle goods etc. As the result, regional commercial gangs formed. Although they are called “gangs”, they actually were incompact commercial groups.


In neoteric China, there are two most important commercial gangs, one was made up by the Canton (Guangdong) merchants, and the other was made up by the business men came from Ningbo, Zhejiang. They worked all over the China, and some also went abroad to do their business.


The Canton gang appeared at early Ming dynasty, their noontide is 1760s to 1840s. After the Opium Wars, Shanghai become the largest commercial port, in about 1856, the goods imported and exported through Shanghai increased to 6.8 times as what traded in Canton. The Canton gang became less and less important from then on.


Most Canton merchants were only traders. They forced on selling goods, but didn’t attempt to found factories. But the members of Ningbo-gang are mainly industrialists. This gang formed in later Ming dynasty, became the most important business men group in later 19c to mid 20c. Their businesses involved water carriage, manufacture, financial and even entertainment industries.


2. Gold & silver manufacture industry during 18c to middle 20c

The neoteric gold, silver & jewelry firms in China appeared in middle 18c. Most of the earliest ones were set up by Ningbo merchants in Zhejiang and Jiangsu including Shanghai, namely in the regions south of the Yangtze RiverThe climax was during the end of 19c to 1930s, thousands firms were founded in that period. At that time, over a half of important firms were still under the control of the Ningbo merchants or managers. Local merchants also imitated or at less referred Ningbo people’s firms to set up theirs in their hometown. Some were registered as “Companies Limited” to the Republic China government during 1920s to 1930s.


This kind of gold, silver & jewelry firms/companies generally have four independent departments - a store or show shop, a workshop, a storehouse and a accountant's office, though they generally shared the same building. In the workshop there were a headman, some engaged workers and apprentices. Some large firms had more than one groups of silversmiths in the workshop, each group had a leader. The group leader may have an assistant and a vice assistant, they were all skillful craftsmen, to help him organize production. In some workshops, there was even a group of people producing wrapper boxes or wooden parts. A few larger companies also had a couple of affiliated workshops which had exclusive contracts to work for them.


The marks struck on an item were typically the town name, the firm name (generally made up of a brand name and a branch name), a fineness mark (in most case, it's a word meaning pure silver or gold), and may also one or two separated marks implying the silversmith group (has one or two characters) and the year the piece was made (it's a single-character mark). For an item outsourced to another workshop or silversmith (less to see, but independent workshops did exist in some cities), it might be stamped a maker’s mark instead of the internal craftsmen group mark.

 

Some silver companies use all of these marks, though most of them only beared a part of these marks onto their products. For example, leading comanies in Shanghai generally didn't stamped a "pure silver" mark on any silverware and silver  jewelry. Items sold by small stores only had a mark of the brand name (store name).

 

Most items manufactured by these companies are bracelets, different kinds of hair pins, finger rings, ear pins, neck pendants, lock-shaped pendants, hat ornaments etc. These kind of traditional jewelries were very popular with domestic customers. A large amount of them were made and sold. They are the main products of most companies, especially hair ornaments. After the starting of the New Life Movement in 1934, many women in large cities cut short their hair. As the result, the revenue of some companies decrease a lot, a few leading companies had to close.

 

Hollowware and cutleries were only a small part of their products, and mainly made in port cities between the end of 19c to ca.1947. A majority of these non-jewelry silverware are western-type items such as tea service sets,  trophies, flatware, napkin rings, shields, tazzas, comports, center pieces and a great deal of spoons in western type. A large part of western-type items were sold to foreigners came to China, or presented to them as gifts. From some people's point of view, they were a part of Chinese Export Silver.

 

These companies also made some traditional utensils for local residents, especially after 1934, including some traditional types of spoons, tongue scrapers, tradition-style teapots, wine warmer, vases, tea cups, powder bowls, censers, figures of Buddha and so on. Though a few traditional vases and teapots were also bought by or presented to foreigners - they were familiar with these types of items since China export porcelains have had the same kind of things for a long time. Traditional types of silverware is less and that's why they are far expensive than western type items. A part of traditional jewelries and utensils were gathered and resold to western countries to obtain foreign exchange during 1972~1990s. But now, Chinese collectors are taking over 10 times of money to purchase them back.


3. CES and western-style items made in Canton

When foreign traders, missionaries etc. came to China, they brought some silverware. A part China export porcelains also referred to these silver items. Neoteric silver firms have not sprung up in Canton. The main products made by the silver workshops in Canton and nearly places should be traditional jewelries. They might also produce some hollowware such as bowls, vases, censers and teapots for rich people.

 

One day, some Canton merchants found they can order customized silverware from the local silversmiths, and sold them to those foreign merchants came to China, or export directly. The earilest export goods including silver parts made are filigee fans, card cases and boxes etc. made in 18c to middle 19c. Most of they were not beared any mark, the store names such as Cumshing were printed on the wrapper boxes which are less left. From then on, the Canton silversmiths started imitating the silverware brought by foreigners, and added Chinese elements a little later. We can imagine, duo to the large demands, more and larger workshops founded, some silversmiths coming from vicinal towns also gathered in Canton.


However, Canton merchants didn’t consider having their own workshops. They only worked as intermediate traders, and sold or exported silverware via their stores or export companies in Canchou (Guangzhou) and Hong Kong, such as Wang Hing (宏興), Wing Nam (永南), Kwan Wo (寬和) and Sing Fat (生發).


From the last half of 19c, more Canton (including Hong Kong) merchants came to Shanghai to find new chances (a few may went to other cities such as Tianjin/Tientsin). A part of them got involved with silver industry. Some jewelry stores in Canton and Hong Kong set up new benches in Shanghai, such as Hung Chong (鴻昌 or 宏昌). Some Canton merchants founded stores from scratch in Shanghai, such as Luen Wo (聯和), Luen Hing (聯興), Zee Wo (時和), Zee Sung (時昇), Yok Sang (朱煜生), Wo Shing (和勝) etc.  A couple of foreign merchants also set up this kind of stores, such as Tuck Chang (德祥). Some Canton or Hong Kong based department stores opened new benches in Shanghai as well, such as Sincere (先施百貨) and Wing On (永安百貨) selling different kinds of goods including silverware and jewelries. 


Based on the craftworks, styles and chopmarks, we can sure almost all products sold by these stores mentioned above were made by Canton-gang silversmiths. Some Canton silversmiths might come to Shanghai or near cities and provided their products to these stores. I don’t have any evidence shows that Shanghai local silversmiths or workshops_ produced for them. However, some items do show the influence of Ningbo (Zhejiang) silversmiths.


So what is CES? In the very narrow sense, only silverware (including few goldware) made by Canton-gang silversmiths and sold by Canton-gang merchants can be called CES. A big part of these silver items were transported oversea for reselling, some might be sold to foreigners who came to China and bought for themselves, a few might be sold to Chinese people as a gifts to their foreigner friends etc. It’s no way to know whether the direct customer of a specified piece was an exporter or an end user, was a foreigner or a Chinese. It’s also unnecessary. We can simply classify them as CES depending on the marks. They were generally stunk a Latin mark and a chopmark on each item, some also had marks like SILVER, STERLING, 85, 88, 90, 95, 97, and even 99% [on some Tack Hing (德興) pieces]. In this way, the scope of CES is a little too narrow but the boundary is clear.


In a broad sense, any silver piece which is a western-style item and made in main export port cites are CES. Although a few fashionable Chinese people bought this kind of silver products to use as well, I think over 80% were purchased by foreigners.


If we choose the narrow sense, some silver firms such Tu Maoxing (塗茂興) in Jiujiang, Jiangxi will be exclude from CES manufacturers. However most people including Crosby Forbes, Chait and Chan did deem that Tu Maoxing was CES related. If we choose the broad sense, hundreds of neoteric silver companies will then get involved, though a larger half of their products were made for native Chinese clients.


4. Straits Chinese Silver and CES in South Asia style

A lot of Chinese people immigrated to Southeast Asia during Ming and Qing dynasties from Fujian and Canton. Some of them were silversmith. Their products have obvious signs of Fujian and Canton craftworks. However many of them were influenced by the local culture, so that sensitive people can distinguish their products from native Chinese silver. This kind of silver items made in Malaya and Singapore are so-called Straits Chinese Silver, those made in Indonesia and nearly countries are also counted in by some people.


Straits Chinese Silver was mainly made for straits Chinese families. That’s why most were only stamped a chop mark with two or three Chinese characters without any Latin letter. A few of them might be exported to Netherlands or France, though I don’t have enough data to affirm.


In the board sense, Straits Chinese Silver also includes those silver pieces having Chinese elements made in Thailand and Indochina. There were more immigrants and merchants came from China in the long history. In Bangkok, people of Chinese origin involved almost all the commerce activities, and hold some important positions regarding to commerce and trading in the Thailand government traditionally until 20c. Vietnam has been influenced by China in culture through its whole history. Those CES-like silver pieces made in Thailand and Indochina were produced by either Chinese/half Chinese silversmith family or their imitators, but they mainly sold to local customers including foreigners came from western countries. I saw dozens of Indochina silver items stamped a French import mark, but I’m not sure whether they were made for direct export or brought to France later.


Some CES were in South Asian style (such as rosewater sprinklers), and some early pieces even had evident Indian or Arabic elements. As we known, they are no relationship with Straits Chinese Silver. The marks stamped on those items also definitely show they were sold by Canton-gang merchants and made by Canton silversmith. Comparing with Europe and U.S, India and Middle East countries were very small markets, but many Canton merchants were still active there. Canton silversmith imitated these India items as they did for the western silver. They are all CES but produced for different markets. Wynyard Wilkinson has mentioned how CES transited to India for selling there.

 

Tags: 银器 中国外销银 金银器 银器知识 首饰 English

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在首博避暑遇到的中国金银器等

那天帝都最高温度39度啊,哥觉得在到京以来一直没有运动开,因此在马路上乱晃,后来晃啊晃,太热了就晃进首博(注意,简称CM——Capital Museum,而不是SB,哈哈哈 )了。

 

行进路线——当然玉渊潭里的那段水路是绕过去的不是游过去哒,20公里有木有:



上了三楼:











这两个是复制品啦,不过说明明清时代的京派花丝嵌宝工艺就已经到顶峰啦:



下面这个俺第一反应……chatelaine?法国城堡女主人有木有!



















这个太监居然有这么西式这么女式的戒指……不是老佛爷赏的吧?







画珐琅八音盒,可能是铜胎的:







铜鎏金珐琅四明钟,应该是法国的:



英国茶具三件套:茶壶-糖缸-奶缸(超级普品),茶壶柄估计是非洲黑紫檀(风车木)制



美国银汤釜



英国银咖啡/茶叶搅拌勺一打+糖夹



好巨大的八音盒:



拍了n张都糊了,不过看到表外圈儿镶的种子珠了!



英文翻译各种不给力



四楼是个啥明清精品展,金银器、瓷器、造像、家具、书画、杂件啥都有,只看得懂金银器。
足金清执壶,但感觉像明:











其实不管明清俺都不懂的。









乌纱帽,保不保?











上面介个无才老西建议翻译成 silver filigree oval basket with handle and cover

下面是个高浮雕金盘子,有龙等动物隐藏其中,这张总算争气了拍清楚了:





































这个小桃子拍了好多张就是木有不糊的,又不是在搓麻将!















城堡女主人又来啦?





下面这付金镯子应该是有款的,但看不清……







又是金执壶,不过拍了几张正脸都很悲剧















葫芦里卖得神马药?













下面这个点翠的毛掉了好多:









下面只是跟金银有点儿沾边儿,一个金+玉(左后方的玉瓶底部其实也是个素金盘子),一个银+漆:








 
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2012年4月16日的佳士得俄国工艺精品拍卖会,从拍品档次看可以算是佳士德春拍的一部分。主要包括金银器及珠宝首饰、陶瓷玻璃器、雕塑三大部分,主要挑第一部分的几个提一下,其他请看其网站:http://www.christies...29549f8615&pg=1


法贝热(FABERGÉ,法贝奇,19世纪初~1917俄国革命)的金银器珠宝首饰占了一小半,虽然有五六件流拍了,但大体拍得很不错,法贝热的风格主要就是新古典主义,下面的几乎全是。捡几件贵的贴一下(所有价格均已含费用):

1、由彩蛋和一些宝石组成的金项链,二万三千七百五十美元


2、黄金、玫瑰金+蓝宝的香水瓶,圣彼得堡的师傅做的,二代头巾女标(1908~1917),四万七千五百美元


3、纯银珐琅粉盒,圣彼得堡的第三Artel(artel是一种手工业联合体),这家是法贝奇的供货商,可能有原法贝奇雇员参与,风格和工艺也是法贝奇式的,第二代头巾女标,三万七千五百美元。

4、一小银珐琅钟,圣彼得堡,根据第一代头巾女+师匠的标佳士徳判断为1904~1908,十万四千五百美元。


5、这次的图录封面拍品,标、年代和上次那个大体相同,十六万四千五百美元!


6、木质+珐琅银相框,也是法贝热工坊彼得堡的师傅做的,也断代为1904~1908,$43750,将近四万四千美元。


7、烛台,银和俄碧吧?反正标得是bowenite,1899~1903彼得堡,四万七千五百刀。


8、局部镀金嵌银橡木书桌(?!!),这件还真算不上新古典主义,有些波斯阿拉伯风格,只有卡尔·法贝热的标(厂里的),应该也是第一代头巾女标。


9、作孽的勺子一对,只有4.5英寸厂,开门的同样精美、同样长度的此类银勺在ebay上大概也就600~1000美刀一只,这对是卡尔·法贝奇标又叠打了FEODOR RÜCKERT的标,二代头巾女莫斯科,不知是法贝热的威力还是叠打的威力,竟然拍到了$8125,阿门~


10、掐丝珐琅+画珐琅酒舀(kovsh),K. FABERGÉ标叠打不明标+二代头巾女,$80500,略超八万刀,没办法,画珐琅不管法国、意大利、俄国、维也纳的都不便宜,尤其后两者……


 

11、又是掐丝珐琅+画珐琅,这回是个小盒子,10.8厘米长,K. FABERGÉ标叠+二代头巾女,$362,500,三十六万美元!!!


 



12、这个造型有点儿怪,刚才看漏了,嵌金玛瑙糖果盒(BONBONNIÈRE),初代头巾女,和上面的钟是同一个workmaster做的,$146,500,十四万六千五百元。


非法贝热:

1、珐琅银相框,ANDREI GORIANOV,彼得堡,二头,$27,500



2、珐琅银酒碗(Kovsh)及勺子,33厘米长,ANTIP KUZMICHEV,莫斯科,一头,带美国蒂芙尼Tiffany标志(零售或进口商),$52,500



 

3、不明首饰,圣彼得堡的HAHN制,$158,500近16万美元,懂得老师来讲讲,链接这里:http://www.christies...ee-320c0b07594d



4、珐琅银伏特加酒具一套,FEODOR RÜCKERT,莫斯科,一头(汗,看来佳士徳跟俺一样谨慎,珐琅器只要难仿的头巾女标的东西),盘子24.5厘米直径,酒壶30.5厘米高。


5、一直珐琅珐琅的俺都腻了,三套车满工乌银茶壶一套,局部镀金,总重1408.1g,FEODOR YARTSEV,莫斯科,1894(嘿嘿,不是珐琅,就敢选老标的了),两万美元,不贵哇!

 


6、疯狂的大勺子,FEODOR RÜCKERT,莫斯科,二头,20.3厘米(确实够大),$12500!!! 疯狂!!!


7、局部镀金画珐琅大酒舀(Kovsh),NEMIROV-KOLODKIN工坊标+作者标EGOR CHERYATOV,莫斯科,二头,24.5厘米,$74,500

 

 


8、压箱底儿的原来在这儿!FEODOR RÜCKERT,莫斯科,二头,12.1厘米长只有,$458,500,将近46万刀!!!!!!




完了完了,晚了晚了,金银珠宝就先这些吧,闪了~

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