Tu Mao Xing
(circa 1880 - 1930)
Tu Mao Xing mark is a quite a recent discovery: until 1980’s in fact he was wrongly identified as Kan Mao Xing and therefore not much is known about him. Tu Mao Xing is one of the first silversmiths operating in Kiukang between 1880 and 1930 and he is certainly one of the finest 19th Century Chinese silversmiths.
The very fine and consistent quality of Tu Mao Xing items is the result of a strict control over the craftsmen of the workshop.
The items created by the firm show a very rich decoration that mixes typical Victorian forms and traditional Chinese motifs in a very theatrical and exuberant style, defined by Adrien Von Ferscht as ‘Chinese Victorian’ (A. Von Ferscht, Chinese Export Silver 1785-1940, 4th edition 2015). According to the scholar, Tu Mao Xing is the best 19th Century creator of silver Chinese dragons. Dragon is perhaps the most powerful among traditional Chinese motifs: it represents the Imperial power and it is considered a symbol of strength and dignity.