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Antique Chinese bronzes, woodcarvings, Ming pottery, toggles, opium boxes, Chinese Export Silver and many other beautiful things…………
Inspired by a father who began collecting Chinese antiques in the 1950’s we grew up surrounded by wonderful pieces of art. We have fond memories of our scouting expeditions with father through countless small antiques shops in search of more treasures and we still cherish the things which he ‘discovered’.
But as a teenager one’s interests shift to other things and Chinese art faded into the background. Until one day, more than 50 years ago, when we found an antique cloisonné vase and two pieces of jade in a small curio shop. The jade pieces puzzled us. We didn’t have a clue about jade and there were hardly any reference books available in the 1960’s. But we were intrigued by the beautiful material and fine carving. So, after many pitfalls and with the advice of antiques dealers one of whom was a jade lover who had lived in China for many years, our knowledge improved and a real passion developed. Our first jades were found in Europe, in London, Geneva, Zurich and Amsterdam. But when we started traveling to Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore these cities became new hunting grounds yielding many interesting pieces.
Especially finding jade flowers from the Yuan and Ming periods gave us great pleasure. A pleasure which we would like to share with other jade-lovers. There are more than 700 flowers in our collection ranging in size from very small to very large. Many of these very old flowers were handed down through Chinese families over a long period of time and were even used, for instance in silver hairpins, until the end of the Qing period (1644 - 1911).
Chinese like playing with words and symbols. Often homonyms (words that share the same pronunciation but have different meanings) are used and many accessories, charms and art objects contain a hidden message (jixiangtuan 吉祥图 案). Reference books such as ‘Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives’ by C.A.S Williams, ‘Symbols and Rebuses in Chinese Art’ by Fang Jing Pei and ‘Four Centuries of Silver’ by Margaret Duda were very helpful. But the best reference book, in our view, was ‘Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art’ by Asian Art Museum Curator Terese Tse Bartholomew who spent decades of research to provide a great guide to such symbols. We are grateful to the authors for helping us to find our way in the maze of Chinese symbolism and hope that you will enjoy our collection. Searching for a particular item is easy. Just use the four digit number of that item in QUICK FIND.
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