A comprehensive survey of the major schools and masters in 66 fine examples, this catalogue is an indication of the developing serious interest in netsuke. Several full-colour photographs of each work, taken from every useful angle, accompany educative and entertaining text. More
PUBLISHED TO COINCIDE WITH ASIAN ART IN LONDON (3–12 November 2016)
Bringing Heaven to Earth: Chinese Silver Jewellery and Ornament in the Late Qing Dynasty
Paperback, 280 x 240 mm 200 pages, 150 images
ISBN: 978 0 9955577 0 3
Elizabeth Herridge with a foreword by Frances Wood
Published by Ianthe Press in collaboration with Paul Holberton publishing.
"A beautifully designed book with a wealth of material … enjoyable strictly for the beautiful photography, but also for anyone with a serious interest in Chinese jewellery." —Textile Research Centre
"Commendable and useful ... the story of jewellery is never just about personal adornment." —Jewellery History Today
"[Herridge] has turned an inquisitive eye upon an expansive private collection of carved and silver jewelry from the late Qing dynasty … Ultimately, Herridge … expertly begins to unwind the complicated histories of the collection." —National Jeweler
Shining a light on a little-known area of Chinese decorative arts from 1850 to 1930, this lavishly illustrated book presents dazzling jewellery from an important private North American collection.
Immortals, dragons, magpies, monkeys and bats populate this pioneering book on Chinese jewellery of the late 19th to early 20th century. In so many aspects, these exquisite objects – made with silver, jade, tourmaline, amethyst, rock crystal, rose quartz, carnelian and serpentine – reveal a previously unexplored journey, not just from Heaven to Earth but from the West to the East and back again.
The appeal of the jewellery is more than just aesthetic, and their varied design and decoration speak of the social, religious, economic and political climate of their time. Their period of production, from the Late Qing dynasty through to the 1930s, is one that has been insufficiently explored by historians as a whole. This was the time when the Treaty Ports attracted foreign residence and tourism, when Western visitors flocked to Shanghai and Peking to buy ‘Chinese’ souvenirs, and when fashionable young Chinese of the Republican period embraced aspects of foreign life and design. Many of the pieces naturally reflect Chinese designs and motifs, particularly in the bold association of colours, their use of ‘re-purposed’ carved plaques and the emphasis on luck-bearing emblems. Western influence creeps in, however, in the form of secure box-and-tongue clasps and the occasional maker’s or retailer’s names, as well as stamps such as ‘Chinese sterling’. Do these makers’ marks suggest that the items were produced for export or do they simply represent a nod to modernity?
In the many fine photographs and her detailed descriptions of each piece, Elizabeth Herridge offers a full survey of the wide variety of the complex motifs involved and their significance. She presents a groundbreaking contribution to our understanding of early 20th-century China, its handicraft production, its commercial activities, and the last gasp of items such as mandarin court necklaces in the face of modern fashions.
Published to coincide with Asian Art in London 2016 (3-12 November) as part of their programme of events. The launch will take place at The London Library on 4 November 2016.
Elizabeth Herridge is the former Managing Director of the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, Las Vegas. A veteran of Wall Street, she operates a London based specialist art and arts management consultancy (elizabeth-herridge.com). She is a graduate of Wellesley College, SOAS, the Getty Leadership Institute (MLI) and a specialist in Qing Dynasty decorative arts.
Frances Wood is a renowned historian, librarian and sinologue, known for her writings on Chinese history. She was for 30 years curator of the British Library’s Chinese collections. Her many publications include The First Emperor of China (2007), The Lure of China (2009), The Diamond Sutra (2010).
This book examines how with the Japanese craftsman's intuitive sense of aesthetics and design the tsuba's utilitarian origins reached into the realms of fine art. The collection paints a picture of the Japanese tsubako, successfully representing both classic and everyday tsuba and fittings, work of the exacting levels demanded by the Daimyo and their samurai. More
During the Tudor Age the South West was famed for the innovation and endeavour of its people. Devon seadogs Drake, Raleigh and Hawkins sailed to ‘World’s End’ in their pursuit of treasure and glory, Exeter’s Nicholas Hilliard produced exquisite miniature portraits of courtiers while fellow Exonian Thomas Bodley re-founded Oxford University’s library, later named the Bodleian in his honour. These men lived during the religious turmoil and political intrigue of Elizabeth I’s reign – a time of opportunity for the merchants and traders of Devon. More
When English naturalist Joseph Banks accompanied Captain James Cook on his historic mission into the Pacific, he took with him a team of collectors and illustrators. They returned with unprecedented collections of artefacts and specimens of stunning birds, fish and other animals as well as thousands of plants, most seen for the first time in Europe. They produced, too, remarkable landscape and figure drawings along with detailed journals, descriptions and maps of the places visited. This collection – along with contemporary portraits of key personalities aboard the ship, scale models and plans of the ship itself, scientific instruments taken on the voyage, commemorative medals and sketches – will tell the story of the Endeavour voyage and its impact ahead of the 250th anniversary in 2018 of the launch of this seminal mission. More
Produced for the Association Internationale de Bibliophilie, this book traces the development of the early Ottoman style under influence from their neighbours; the impact of the patronage of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror; and the development of the ‘classical’ style under his successor Bayezid II. A catalogue section provides beautiful illustrations of 41 masterpieces of bookbinding; with technical appendices, bibliography, concordance and index. More
Stained glass was unknown in antiquity. Invented around AD 1000, it soon achieved a dominant position in the arts of the Middle Ages, not only in churches but also in secular contexts. Its innovation can be compared with that of television – and like television it involves passing light through a transparent layer, using the light of sun instead of light generated by electricity, so that in a real sense the stained glass image is in constant motion, as the light passing through it changes. More
There is an excitement to eccentric netsuke, and a dimension of an artistic personality and vision which raises these creations from the level of craft to art. The simple fact is that individual, experimental netsuke are much more difficult to understand than identifiable hack work – even great hack work – and are therefore much more gratifying when one does understand them. More
Spanning some 350 years, the Thomson Collection of historic ship models contains examples of exquisite workmanship and some of the masterpieces of the genre. Pride of the collection are the rare British dockyard models made to scale for affluent 18th-century clients closely associated with the Navy. More
After more than 15 years in business Tomasso Brothers are delighted to be hosting their spectacular debut sculpture exhibtion at Adam Williams Fine Art, New York. To mark this seminal exhibition of more than 40 important works they have produced a luxurious catalogue, which aims to represent and describe the sculptures through sophisticated photographs and informative catalogue descriptions. More
Since the early Bronze Age the sword has been a sign of wealth, status and the power of divine right. Yet, before the sixteenth century the sword was almost never carried on the person in everyday life. It was a rare, noble weapon, carried into battle by the aristocratic warrior class but set aside in time of peace. However, the increasing prominence of the Renaissance middle classes brought a fundamental change to the sword's place in society. Now large numbers of non-noble but often wealthy and upwardly mobile people could also afford rich things like fine clothes, jewelry and weapons. More
Literati material finds its way into parts of the brain which regular works of antiquity cannot reach; the convoluted twists of cunning poetic allusions, themselves referring back and further back, to old writings, inscriptions on stone, legendary heroes and their mottoes, and not infrequent misquotes, can catch the unwary seeker after meaning in their complex web, causing him to lose all sense of afternoons and sometimes days. While one can admire Chinese literati works for their purely visual appeal and intimate, personable presence, it is their literary content that renders them so endlessly individual and subjective of interpretation. More
The decorative arts of South and Southeast Asia, and especially those of the 18th and 19th centuries, and trade items produced during the same period, constitute a much neglected area. The objects presented here – ranging from ornate ivory-handled daggers and exquisite silver filigree boxes to an ancient wooden tomb guardian and magnificent embroidered silk – are all of exceptional quality and are often incredibly rare. More
The outstanding collection of late 17th- and 18th-century books, together with their sumptuous bindings, built up by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the last 20 years of the 19th century, match his other extraordinary collections (covered by earlier catalogues in the series), and is among the best of its kind outside Paris. This catalogue reveals for the first time the riches of his book collection. More
Described by The Times as a “watershed between past and future of that most magnificent of publishing beasts, the academic catalogue … as beautifully presented and generously illustrated as it is well researched”, this book draws attention to a selection of the most refined and tantalizing pieces or arms and armour from one of the most significant collections of its kind. More
Made from scraps and slivers of wood, ivory, bone, stag-antler and metal, netsuke developed from a simple utilitarian toggle worn at the belt into a fine art. Some of it made geniuses. This book brings together prime examples of these delightful treasures – a rare and perfectly formed horse by Masanao of Kyoto; an extraordinary Ashinaga and Tenaga by Totenko; a fine study of a running boar with a snake upon its back, a masterpiece by Naito Toyomasa. More
This book explores the surprising heights of the idiosyncratic lone Japanese artist, the odd man out, experimenting his way through the fine arts and laying his own pathway forwards as he did. It is intended as a joyous celebration of his genius. Dating from the late 17th to the early 20th century, 69 special and individual works of painting, sculpture, ceramic, lacquer, fancy metalwork and a striking selection of pipecases and their sagemono, inro and netsuke in various materials, are catalogued with beautiful photography and detailed descriptions. More
The third and last in the series of catalogues and exhibitions on the endlessly diverse subject of artworks which reflect the culture of the Chinese scholar class and some of the individuals who comprised it. It follows on the heels of Documentary Chinese Works of Art in Scholars' Taste and Emperor Scholar Artisan Monk. Over 160 fine examples of painting, calligraphy and desk or scholastic objects, dating from the 15th to the 20th century, are presented with colour photographs and detailed, educative entries. More