Chinoiserie Porcelain Shard Box, One of A Kind, this vintage box is very special, made from a shard of Antique Ming or Qing Dynasty porcelain, broken during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and then later salvaged by the Hu family in Beijing. The broken porcelain chard has been fitted in a silver plated copper box. Every Chard box is unique and is a collectible part of Chinese history. This one features beautiful blue and white porcelain .
DIMENSIONS: 3.25” L x 2.25” W x 1 1/2” H
ORIGIN: Beijing, China
Circa: box created 1990, shard from 1700-1800's or earlier
FACTS & HISTORY: In the 20th century, the social status of Chinese art radically changed. What were once the finest accoutrements of an elite section of society came to represent the excess and injustice of the old regime, and during the turbulence of the 1970s many porcelain antiques were destroyed in a symbolic rejection of the old customs and habits.
During this time, the Hu family was living in Beijing. The father of the Hu household, was a jeweler and antique collector who had been running a shop since the 1930s. Witness to the destruction of relics in his neighborhood, Hu was distressed by what he saw as irrevocable damage to China's history and culture. Later, he began to collect the discarded fragments of broken antique porcelain, seeking to preserve what remained of a once celebrated Chinese art.
"During the 'cultural revolution' (1966-76), keeping antique porcelain at home was considered illegal. So many collectors broke their pieces and threw them away. After the period ended, the Hu family began collecting the broken pieces of antique porcelain and tried to bring them to life again.
Reform and opening up swept across China's cities in the 1980s, bringing with it new opportunities for people to start businesses, and the Hu family saw an opportunity to revitalize the broken antiques collecting dust in their home. Hu opened a small shop in 1986, embedding pieces of broken pottery into the lids of small silver boxes and selling them at inexpensive prices. No two fragments of porcelain are the same, each expertly selected for its size and shape, and reimagined so as to accentuate what remains of its beauty. Chinese characters tessellate across the lids of boxes, while decorative foliage and abstract snippets of ancient scenes ornament these boxes.