Chinese Social History – Original Antique Photographs

Marquis Chi-tse Tseng
Chinese: 毅勇侯【(湖南湘鄉)】曾紀澤 (劼剛)
Also Known As: “Marquis Tseng”
Birthdate: 1839 (51)
Death: 1890 (51)

Immediate Family:

Son of Zēng Guófān 曾國藩 and 歐陽氏
Husband of 劉氏 and 賀氏
Father of 曾廣璇; 曾廣珣; 曾廣銘(殤); 曾廣鑾; 曾廣鐊(殤) and 1 other
Brother of 曾紀第; 曾紀靜; 曾紀耀; 曾紀琛; 曾紀純

Marquis Zeng Jize (Chinese: 曾纪泽; pinyin : Zēng Jìzé; Wade Giles, Tseng Chi-tse) (1839 – April 12, 1890), one of China’s earliest ministers to London, Paris and Saint Petersburg, played an important role in the diplomacy that preceded and accompanied the Sino-French War (August 1884–April 1885).

Zeng was appointed minister to Britain, France and Russia in 1878, and lived in Europe for seven years (1879–1885). He made his name as a diplomat in 1880 and 1881, by renegotiating the infamous 1879 Treaty of Livadia with Russia. The resulting Treaty of Saint Petersburg (February 1881), which reversed most of the Russian gains of 1879, was generally considered a diplomatic triumph for China.

Zeng’s duties as minister to Paris were dominated by the confrontation between France and China over Tonkin that eventually culminated in the Sino-French War. Zeng’s denunciations of French policy in Tonkin began softly enough in April 1882 after the capture of the citadel of Hanoi by Henri Rivière, grew more insistent as French ambitions became clearer in the summer of 1883, and reached a climax immediately after the Son Tay Campaign in December 1883.

Further Reading

Every Pieces Tells A Story

Irv Graham

This Kangxi Rouleau vase depicts a legend that dates to 3rd-century China. The central figure, a young man called Pan’an, was the man all the women in the neighbourhood were crazy for. He was very elegant, very handsome, almost like a rock star. In this vase, he is richly dressed, with a fan and hair ornament. But his health was quite fragile, which is why he is being carried in a chariot.

On the balcony and in the windows, elegantly dressed women can be seen throwing fruit to him. At the end of his walk, according to the legend, his chariot would be full of fruit. You can find many representations of this story in the 18th century. That said, depictions on vases of Pan’an — who remains a famous character in China today — are relatively rare.

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Owner of looted Chinese art withdraws items from Bonhams as he does not wish to cause offence !?X_!?>

Two Chinese relics that were looted from Beijing’s Old Summer Palace, or Yuanmingyuan, in 1860 have been withdrawn from auction at Bonhams auctioneers in London.

Bonhams has removed all the information and photos of the two cultural relics from its website.

Colin Sheaf, Bonhams Asia chairman, said in a statement on Nov 2: “Bonhams is very sorry to read reports in the Chinese press that offence has been caused in China by the proposed sale of two jade carvings.”

China Daily reported on Nov 2 that China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the nation’s top cultural heritage agency, slammed the auction as being “against the spirit of international conventions”.

The agency urged auctioneers to respect the feelings of people from the country where the relics were looted.

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Chinese emperor’s vase for auction at Sheppard’s

THE eyes of the auction world will once again turn to Sheppard’s Auction House in Durrow when a final lot from the famous Carlow collection goes on sale.

Two years ago, the sale of an inauspicious looking vase belonging to a Carlow family for €110,000 drew column inches across the globe. Now, a final vase from the family collection will go on sale on 29 November.

The lot is a similar vase to the piece which sold for the staggering sum and it’s thought this vase could make as much as €200,000.

“We’ve had a lot of international enquiries already from the UK, China and the USA,” said Philip Sheppard.

The 18th century piece was made during the reign of emperor Qianlong.

“It was part of the emperor’s personal collection. It came from the Forbidden City,” said Mr Sheppard.

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100 MILLION in precious relics seized in tomb robbery case

HUBEI Province police have detained 32 people and retrieved 198 cultural relics worth more than 100 million yuan (US$16 million) in a raid on an underground antique market, Wuhan Morning Post reported yesterday.

The antiques were mostly ancient bronzes dating from China’s Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC), the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), and the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-9 AD). The value of 104 artifacts was put at more than 100 million yuan while some were too precious to estimate, experts said.

Chinese law states that items buried underground belong to the nation and sales of such items are prohibited.

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Blue-and-white porcelain from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)

Blue-and-white porcelain from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) has been the most sought-after porcelain by collectors, public and private in the past decade, as no more than 400 pieces still exist in the world, according to Chen Kelun, deputy director of the Shanghai Museum.

More than 80 pieces of this rare and precious earthenware are on display at Shanghai Museum through Jan 20. The museum has spent the past two years preparing the important show titled Splendors in Smalt: Art of Yuan Blue-and-white Porcelain.

Besides its own collection, the Shanghai Museum borrowed from more than 30 museums and collectors from Iran, Japan and Russia, as well as the British Museum and John Eskenazi, a private collector in the United States.

Museums and institutions in different parts of China also contributed their pieces to the show.

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London Celebrates Asian Art

“Asian Art in London,” a 10-day festival opening Thursday, will offer collectors a treasure trove from thousands of years of Asian culture, including ceramics, paintings, sculptures, jade, jewelry, textiles, metalwork and furniture originating from China, Japan, Korea, India, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East

“The sheer quantity of the galleries with special shows makes it the time to be in London,” says Jessica Curtis, the event’s project director.

More than 50 dealers will participate this year, 15 of which will come from the U.S., Europe and Asia. Bonhams, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Woolley & Wallis will hold major Asian auctions at the festival, while museums, including the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, and other institutions have organized a program of Asian cultural and social events (

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Thousands of Buddha statues found in Northern China

Archaeologists in Hebei Province have unearthed more than 2,000 ancient Buddha statues.

The 2,895 Buddha statues and fragments dating back to the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi period (534-577) were found in the historic site of Yecheng, Linzhang county. The statues are made of white marble and blue stone and some are painted or gilded, according to archeologists from the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Hebei Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage.

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