This exceptional antique Chinese Export Silver (CES) cigarette box has a plain rectangular form.
The surface of the body is encompassed with an applied, large undulating oriental Chinese dragon design, all in high relief.
This antique silver box is fitted with a silver and cedar wood lined hinged cover.
The upper plateau of the cover is ornamented with a further large coiling dragon design accented with impressive emanating whiskers, incorporating a circular vacant cartouche to the centre.
The surface of the box and cover has a textured finish, with plain borders to each side.
The body of this fine Chinese silver box retains the original cedar wood lining; by virtue of its size this versatile box could be used for a multitude of functions.
The box features a solid silver base which is plain and unembellished, apart from the feature hallmarks; a solid silver base is a sign of quality.
The hallmarks struck to the underside of this fine box include:
Silver quality/purity mark: 85 (85 standard, 850/1000)
Maker's mark: 大新公司 (DA XIN GONG SI; The Sun Company Department Store Company)
Workshop mark: 金記 (JIN JI, Shanghai*)
Such fine examples with three-dimensional whiskers and sharp applied decoration are becoming increasingly difficult to locate.
NOTE: * This small Shanghai workshop also crafted items for the Shanghai retailers Tuck Chang, Luen Woi and Nanking Store. We are grateful to Adrien von Ferscht for his help in identifying this exceptional antique piece.
Maker: Da Xin Gong Si