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This highly detailed and extremely goblet exemplifies the incredible artistry of Chinese silver. Resting atop a circular rock and root base, the stem is enchantingly formed as a bamboo stalk. The charming and intricately carved motif continues upwards to the cup, which is beautifully decorated with bamboo branches on a matted ground and a single, vacant cartouche. The foot features the mark of Gothic K. Not much is known about this Chinese firm, but its silversmiths worked during the mid-China trade period and produced high quality silver. The firm marked their silver with the letter K, in imitation of an English silver date letter.
Chinese export silver pieces such as this one came into popularity beginning in the 18th century, when trade routes opened between China and the West. Masterfully handcrafted, these pieces replace common Western motifs with Chinese imagery, such as dragons, flowers, and bamboo. Most Chinese firms adopted the English hallmark systems, causing many of these exquisite pieces to be misidentified as English in origin until the mid-1970s, when further scholarship uncovered their Eastern origins. Following these revelations, a great deal of Chinese silver has been acquired by museums, making this striking goblet a highly desirable rarity on the market.