Pair of silver candlesticks by Wang Hing
China, late 19th or early 20th century
A pair of silver candlesticks of square form, each supported on a pedestal base, surmounted by three graduated, plain square bands, which in turn are surmounted by a square column. The stepped tops of the candlesticks are plain. The columns are cast with four dragons, spewing crested waves. The bases feature four panels of four-clawed dragons, pursuing pearls. Each candlestick is hallmarked on the base with the initials “HM’, a Chinese character and “OG”.
The motif of a dragon chasing the pearl of wisdom signifies good fortune and brings luck. These exquisite silver candlesticks, made for export to the West, are definitely made as a pair, because the decoration of dragons chasing flaming pearls is reversed on each. The candlesticks are marked “HM” which is “WH” upside down. WH stands for Wang Hing, a firm that was established in Canton in 1854 by the wealthy Lo merchant family. The mark that reads as “OG” is probably 90 upside down and indicates the purity of the silver. For another pair of candlesticks of a different design, also marked Wang Hing, see the Chait collection of Chinese Export Silver. A pair of silver candlesticks by Wang Hing is in the Muwen Tang collection.
- Kernan, J.D. The Chait Collection of Chinese Export Silver, New York 1985, no. 191, p. 180
- Kwan, S. Chinese Export Siver. The Muwen Tang Collection Series, vol. 16, Hong Kong 2018, no. 151, pp. 378-9