A Chinese silver bowl dating from circa 1830. It has the mark of Linchong incorporated with pseudo-hallmarks which can be found on some early silver made in Canton in the first half of the nineteenth century. This lovely little bowl has beautifully engraved classical European style motifs around the outside, a shaped rim, and a light gilding of gold to the interior.
An interesting note about the engraved design of this bowl has been supplied by Adrien von Ferscht. He writes
"The baroque-inspired motifs of this bowl may, at first, seem completely un-Chinese. However, they are directly inspired by the mid-18th century extension to the Old Summer Palace in Beijing [Yuanming Yuan 圆明园 The Gardens of Perfect Brightness]. The various palaces and landscaping were planned and designed by Guiseppe Castiglione for the Qianlong Emperor - Michel Bonoist was responsible for the ornamental waterworks and some of the landscaping. Most of the complex was destroyed and looted by the British and French in 1860.
Both Castiglione and Benoist were Jesuits. Castiglione was greatly appreciated by Qianlong and was allowed to live at Court in the Forbidden City, being bestowed higher and higher rank over the 30 years he was there. Castiglione greatly influenced the direction of Chinese art in the 18th century, arriving at a unique blend of European and Chinese styles. Before Castiglione, Chinese art had no perspective or shadow."