Treasures: Boxed hardcover edition (including 3 catalogues)

Author: Jorge Welsh (ed.)

Publisher: Jorge Welsh Research and Publishing

USD $407.00

Capturing the highlights of the 20th annual Jorge Welsh Works of Art exhibition, this reference three-catalogue box set features some of the highest-quality custom orders produced by Chinese artists for the West. Treasures brings together one of the largest collections of 18th century Chinese snuff boxes on record, an extraordinary pair of Yongzheng famille rose vases and an enigmatic enamel-on-copper staff.

The three beautifully illustrated exhibition catalogues include Pocket Treasures: Snuff Boxes from Past Times, The Vases of the ‘Hundred Treasures’ and Timeless Treasure: The Runic Calendar Staff.

Hardcover (3 catalogues in slipcase), English text, 302 pages, colour, 23.5 x 29.7 cm, published in 2019

Pocket Treasures: Snuff boxes from Past Times (ISBN 978-0-9935068-6-4)

The Vases of the ‘Hundred Treasures’ (ISBN 978-0-9935068-7-1)

Timeless Treasure: The Runic Calendar Staff (ISBN 978-0-9935068-8-8)




Pocket Treasures: Snuff boxes from Past Times: A collection of over 60 pieces made of Chinese porcelain and enamelled copper forms the foundation for a study of these portable containers for powdered tobacco in Pocket Treasures: Snuff Boxes from Past Times. Snuff boxes were made in Europe in a variety of materials from at least the 17th century and were later commissioned by private individuals and merchants of the European trading companies in China. As fashionable symbols of status, boxes of this type had their use highly codified by the late 17th century. This exhibition catalogue illustrates enamelled copper and porcelain boxes dating to the 18th and 19th centuries, and an introductory essay includes details of how snuff boxes emerged in Europe and China, comparative works and a history of snuff consumption in the West.


The Vases of the ‘Hundred Treasures’: A pair of vases decorated with the Chinese subject of the ‘hundred treasures’ adapted to suit foreign tastes is the focus of the catalogue of the same name. Dating to the Yongzheng period (1723-1735) and depicting a continuous composition of antiques, flowers and animals, these famille rose vases are among the best export wares produced in the 18th century. Western designations for the ‘hundred treasures’ subject derive in a literal sense from the Chinese expression baibao, in which bai or ‘hundred’ stands for ‘many’, although the subject itself is historically known in China as ‘antique objects’ or bogu. Visually similar to the European ‘still life’ genre, bogu is more specific in that the objects depicted have a high value because of their age, quality and provenance. The Vases of the ‘Hundred Treasures’ brings to light the multiple auspicious designs that decorate these extraordinary vases.


Timeless Treasure: The Runic Calendar Staff: The mysterious symbols that decorate a rare enamelled copper staff are uncovered for the modern viewer in Timeless Treasure: The Runic Calendar Staff. Displaying a runic calendar based on a Swedish model of circa 1750, this staff is among the few copper objects enamelled with Western designs in China during the 18th century. Runic calendar staffs are so called due to the theme of their decoration, which comprises inscriptions with runes forming a perpetual calendar, or almanac. Wooden staffs of this type were important timekeeping devices in Scandinavia in use from at least the 12th century. With only four comparable examples known to survive in museum collections, this study adds to a growing body of literature on Chinese enamelled copper wares.