19 Dec 2017 ‑ 23 Feb 2018 (weekdays) 9:30am ‑ 5:30pm (8 hours)
23 Dec 2017 ‑ 25 Feb 2018 (every Sun, Sat) 10am ‑ 7pm (9 hours)
Central Ferry Pier No. 8, Hong Kong
contributed by

Silver, as an early currency, was linked to global economy, maritime trade and international relations. It was widely circulated since the Age of Great Voyages in the fifteenth century. Curated by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and co-organised with the Home Affairs Bureau and Guangdong Museum, The Silver Age: Origins and Trade of Chinese Export Silver exhibition will be held from now until 25 February 2018 to showcase around 200 exquisite exhibits with the support from 20 parties – including the Guangdong Museum, HSBC Archives, Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Museum of Art and a number of local prominent collectors.

The exhibition explores the origins of Chinese export silver, Hong Kong’s role as a trading hub of export silver during the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, as well as Hong Kong’s close relationship with other silver manufacturing centres in the Pearl River Delta and elsewhere.

Four Silver Exhibits You Must See at the Exhibition

1/ Relationship between the establishment of British-style clubs and the silver trophies made in Hong Kong
A number of British-style clubs were established in Hong Kong and trophies were commonly made in the nineteenth century. In 1849, the Victoria Regatta Club was established with regular rowing events,
and silver trophies were prizes for winning the races. The Hong Kong Maritime Museum has also collected silver trophy of ships with seaview and patterns of flowers and birds.

Silver ‘Admiral’s Cup’ trophy
Gift of Anthony J. Hardy

2/ A farewell gift from Sun Yat-sen to his mentor
This silver goblet originally belonged to Scottish doctor Patrick Manson, who had served as chairman of the committee for the founding of the College of Medicine for Chinese, Hong Kong, and was appointed as the dean of the college, making great contributions to the medical profession. This silver goblet was cast in Hong Kong with money donated by Dr Sun Yat-sen and other college students, and was presented to Dr Manson as souvenir before he left Hong Kong for Britain.

Silver goblet presented to Dr Patrick Manson by Sun Yat-sen and other seven students of the College of Medicine for Chinese
Hong Kong 31 March 1889
On loan from Hong Kong Museum of History

3/ From Canton to Hong Kong: The Wang Hing brand
Queen’s Road Central used to have the best export silverware stores! The local export silver industry flourished in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. Among the many silver ware shops, Wang Hing’s scale was the biggest, with the most silver ware produced, as well as the most extant. It partnered with over a hundred of manufacturers or workshops throughout the years, and
even expanded its business overseas. Wang Hing once supplied silver ware articles for the then famous US jewellery firm Tiffany & Co.

Wang Hing silver repoussé tea set, seven pieces including tray
First half of twentieth century
Courtesy of the Muwen Tang Collection

4/ A Must-see item for jewellery-lovers
The basic techniques of producing Chinese silverware often involve more than one technique to the same ware in order to achieve different visual effects. Taking this bracelet as an example, the techniques filigree and gilding have been applied.

Gilt-silver filigree bracelet with dragon motif and pearls inlay
Mid-19th century
The K.L. Leung Collection of Export Art

Event Calendar
‘I think Therefore I Collect’ - Collectors’ Forum

Date: 10 Feb 2018 (Sat)
Time: 16:00 – 16:45 (in Cantonese) ; 17:00 – 18:00 (in English)
Moderator: Dr. Libby Chan, Assistant Director (Curatorial and Collections), Hong Kong Maritime Museum

Cantonese Session (16:00 – 16:45)
Mr. Chris Mok, Owner of the Cheng Xun Tang
Ms. Betty Lo, Owner of the Mengdiexuan

English Session (17:00– 18:00)
Mr. Anthony Hardy, Chairman Emeritus, HKMM Ltd.
Mr. Chris Hall, local collector
Dr. Shing Yiu Yip, local collector

Free and no booking required. Participants please meet at the Visitors’ Counter.

Shifting Standards: Consuming Chinese export silverwares in the West
Date: 13 Feb 2018 (Tue)
Time: 19:00 - 20:30
Speaker: Susan Eberhard, Blakemore Freeman Fellow; History of Art PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley
Booking is required. Fee for materials: HKD 100. Adults only.

Details please refer to Hong Kong Maritime Museum’s website:
http://www.hkmaritimemuseum.org/eng/whats-on/calendar- of-events/79/