Meta-Museum – A magnificent Chinese Export Silver epergne made by Hoaching in Canton, circa 1870

A magnificent Chinese Export Silver epergne made by Hoaching in Canton, circa 1870

Hoaching is an interesting silversmith. He is only known to have operated for 20 years yet all surviving pieces are without exception of the highest quality and all have his highly decorated trademark

It is reasonably safe to assume this particular item was a bespoke order since it bears the inscription:

HANKOW SPRING MEETING 1870
CHAMPION STAKES
WON BY MR WILLIAMS

A further inscription is on the base: “USURY” ridden by R.W.W.

 

 

Horseracing began in China in 1864 at both Hankow [Wuhan] and Kiukang [Jiujang]; the Chinese government allowing attendant gambling under the guise of a “lottery”. Unlike other cities where clubs were created to service each foreign nationality, Hankow Club was international and remained so for its entire existence; the Hankow Race Club was a loosely formulated affiliation with the main club. Hankow, as a concession port, only came into being in 1860 but it grew quickly to be a thriving international city known for its clubs and cabarets.

Hankow Race Club grandstand, 1888

The epergne was offered for sale at Christies, New York in 2005 and achieved a hammer value of $12,500. There is no record of it appearing at auction since.

50.8cm height; 4351gm [139.9 Troy ounces]

Various makers’ marks used by Hoaching

 

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